AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) -

Late Wednesday night, tragedy struck the Nine Two Six West Apartments in Augusta as a devastating fire tore through an apartment building, leaving multiple families displaced and in shock.

The incident, which unfolded shortly before 11 PM, drew a massive response from local police and the fire department, with reports indicating a scene engulfed in flames and thick smoke.

Residents like Vanessa Holden recounted her disbelief as she came back home that night. "I came out here and all I could do was just watch everything go to pieces," Holden, highlighted the emotional toll and financial strain now facing her and others affected.

Eyewitness Alexis Johnson described the chaotic scene as emergency vehicles arrived at the complex. "We saw like maybe 20 to 30 emergency vehicles. It was just completely ablaze. Smoke was everywhere… It was hard to breathe," Alexis recalled, painting a vivid picture of the intense firefighting efforts amidst the holiday backdrop.

Authorities received an initial call reporting sounds of fireworks hours before the fire broke out, prompting speculation about a possible connection.

Two emails sent to residents underscored the seriousness of the situation, one notifying them of heightened emergency presence and another reiterating the strict prohibition of fireworks on the property.

The fire ravaged a total of 16 units. Vanessa Holden, one of the unfortunate residents affected, expressed gratitude for the support of organizations like the Red Cross and the property management team.

"Financial assistance about 300 and up... The property manager told me that they would get back to me since I have renter's insurance." Vanessa shared, highlighting the financial uncertainties compounded by the loss.

While Vanessa's apartment was damaged, Alexis Johnson expressed solidarity with her less fortunate neighbors. "It’s devastating… a lot of people lost their homes and a lot of their belongings," Alexis empathized.

One injury was reported as a resident escaped from their balcony during the chaos.

However, the exact cause of the fire remains undetermined as investigations continue.

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