Fire destroys apartment building in Highland, Indiana

HIGHLAND, Ind. (WLS) -- A massive fire tore through an apartment building in Highland, Indiana, Friday afternoon.

Emergency crews responded to the three-story building in the 9500-block of Hampton Drive at about 4 p.m.

Flames consumed the roof and thick smoke could be seen for miles.

"I was shocked," said Yuting Li, resident. "I never seen that fire before. It's really, oh... it's really dangerous."

Li and his cat Cloris are among many now left without a home.

"Got inside, tried to put the fire out from the inside, spent probably 45m minutes. Conditions just turned bad," said Highland Fire Chief Bill Timmer.

Firefighters evacuated dozens of residents before the flames spread. The roof eventually collapsed.

"I was thinking it as like something from a movie because, like, it was moving so fast," said Jeremiah Carter, resident.

Officials said no one was injured but the 24-unit building is a total loss.

With temperatures in the low teens and wind chills well below zero, the cold did firefighters no favors.

"We had frozen hydrants to contend with," Timmel said. "Every place that the hose got on the ground, it turned to ice. The weather's working against."

"I can't believe this is actually happening. This is just a tragedy," said Carter.

Officials said the fire started on an upper floor, but the cause is still being investigated. The Red Cross is helping those displaced residents
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