7 units destroyed in NE Atlanta apartment fire

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ATLANTA —

It took nearly 65 firefighters to put out a fire at a northeast Atlanta apartment building, forcing nearly a dozen people out of their homes Friday night.

It happened at the Chalet Apartments on Inwood Circle just after 6 p.m.

Fire investigators told Channel 2's Liz Artz, one dog died in the fire and several cats are still unaccounted for.

Firefighters said they received multiple 911 calls from drivers who saw the flames along Interstate 85. Drivers in a nearby access road alerted residents inside the building that it was engulfed in flames.

The fire started in unit 5 of the building. Dan Carter lives right next door.

"I started to hear a lot of honking and people screaming," Carter told Artz.

Drivers on the I-85 access road were trying to alert residents the building was on fire. Cater made it out, but could only look on helplessly as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.

"That's my unit going up in flames," he told Artz, watching the flames destroy his apartment.

Carter later learned his two cats survived the fire, but that's all that made it out. He says it's been home for a very long time.

"How do you replace so many memories that are going up right now? Not replaceable," Carter said.

Atlanta Fire Battalion Chief Kevin Roberts said that an arson investigator will comb through the remains and make an official determination, but the elderly man in unit 5 was questioned by firefighters.

"He said he smoked and there were oxygen tanks in there," Roberts said.

Sanaz Yazdani is a student from Iran. She said she's lived in the U.S. only two months. This was a lot for her to take.

"My first experience in the U.S.," Yazdani said.

She's staying with friends while other residents are being helped by the American Red Cross.

"I'm watching, losing everything here. What do you think about in a moment like this?" Yazdani said.

The American Red Cross will provide food clothing and shelter for the weekend.