"It was completely covering the sky, basically, and when I pulled up, that whole apartment was basically engulfed in flames," Brittany Wilson said.


The fire began around 6 a.m. at the Pleasant View Apartments and firefighters were still working on putting it out at 8 a.m. According Captain Aaron Garrett with Tahlequah Fire, 16 units were affected and five vehicles were damaged.


Some of those residents were Northeastern State University students. Classes at the school begin on Monday.


Andrea Rice escaped this morning's fire with most of her belongings. She still has her car, her clothes and her ferret, but most importantly, she has

"We're one of the lucky ones, too, because we didn't lose too much but other people they just lost everything," Rice said. "They lost all of their possessions and their cars and were just really lucky."

The Tahlequah Fire Department believes the fire started with a car parked underneath a parking awning and spread to the building. Some reported hearing a loud bang in the parking lot before the fire began.

There have been no reports of injuries and everyone made it out safely, officials said.

"One lady told me her name is Sarah, she said that she just barely had time to grab her little girl and get out," fire victim Julie Brixey said. "She said 'If we had gone back for shoes, we wouldn't have made it out."

It took firefighters about two hours to put out the fire.

Garrett said they have not determined what started the fire.

Red Cross workers are helping residents with food and shelter.