NORFOLK, Va. - A fire broke out at an apartment building in Norfolk early Monday morning.
The fire was on the 900 block of Greenway Court near Redgate.
Officials confirm that the fire started on the north side of the building on the first floor then traveled through the second floor to the south side of the building.
"I looked out my window - my curtains were drawn, but I could see there was a funny orange light coming in," said resident Foy Bobbitt.
Bobbitt got the worst wake up call of her life Monday around 4:30 am.
"I looked out, and there were flames lapping out of the building," she said. "I just started shoving my cats into their carriers."
With only her cats and purse in tow, still in her pajamas, she knocked on doors on the way down to implore her neighbors to get out fast.
"I don’t remember walking down the stairs; I just remember being out here," she said.
For hours, Norfolk fire crews battled the flames in the historic three-story building on Greenway Court, rescuing four people from the fire with ladders. Several others were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
"We stayed together with our mouths open for an hour or two," said Amanda Bradley, who lives in a neighboring building.
As day broke and the flames turned to smoke, residents who were initially comforted by the Red Cross made their way to the charred, shell of a building.
"I hadn't seen that until I saw it on the news at my parents' house," said Bobbitt.
Bobbitt stared up at her third-story unit - where the sky is now her ceiling - her possessions packed in boxes as she was set to move, turned to dust.
"The main thing - I got my kitties out and I got out and we are OK. It's just weird. It's not setting in yet; everything is gone," said Bobbitt.
For hours, firefighters brought out soaked teddy bears, waterlogged computers, and anything to bring comfort to the fire victims. Some people's possessions were confined to a park bench; others in saturated pillow cases.
For Bobbitt, her apartment was not accessible by fire crews, so she resorted to what was on her porch - a sentimental chair and a potted plant.
Firefighters going the distance to fulfill her wish of getting anything familiar.
"Thank you. Oh my God; you're my hero," said Bobbitt.
A witness told News 3 that he woke up and couldn't see, barely making it out at all.
The fire department shot water in all directions to quickly minimize and contain the fire.
Fire crews rescued six people: Four from a ladder and two from inside the building.
Part of the back of the building did collapse during the fire.
The cause of the fire is still unknown. Due to the significant amount of damage it will take time to report the true cause of the fire, according to officials. Officials say there is no evidence that suggests that this was an intentionally set fire.
Norfolk Fire-Rescue says they want to assure the West Ghent area neighbors that this fire is not suspicious and there is no connection to previous fires in the area. The Fire Marshal’s Office personnel continue to work with the building owner in assisting displaced occupants in retrieving personal items. If anyone has any information about the fire, they can contact the Norfolk Fire Marshal's office at (757) 664-6604.