A 3-alarm fire in Baltimore's Curtis Bay neighborhood forced 23 residents out of their homes Monday.
Witnesses heard explosions on Hazel Street around 12:30 p.m. The intense flames spread to 10 houses on the block. Two of them were vacant, according to firefighters.
"Nobody expects there to be a fire happening out of the blue, so I don't know what's next," says resident Darius Alves.
Alves came home from work to discover his house was damaged.
"I had my high school diploma in there, my college degree in there. I had everything in there," he says."Now it's just all gone."
The Baltimore Fire Dept. says at least one firefighter and one civilian was injured. Resident Barbara Meinecke says her daughter broke her ankle running back into her burning home to save cats they had previously rescued. About 15 of them are unaccounted for.
"Hopefully they hid and they got out but if not, there's nothing I can do except cry," she said.
The Red Cross is assisting displaced residents in need of shelter.
The Restoration Church of Curtis Bay brought food and water to victims and crews battling the flames on a hot afternoon.
"We can't cure all the ills, but we can do what we can do," says Orlando Petrini with the Church, "and we absolutely will do what we can do."
The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to investigators.