The Tulsa Fire Department has been battling an apartment fire in East Tulsa since about 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Officials said it took about 30 minutes for the fire to destroy 24 third-floor apartments at the Observation Point Apartments, 41st Street and 129th East Avenue. Many more second-floor units are badly water-damaged.
"When we got here, they had flames and smoke showing from the attic and a couple of the apartments on the third floor," TFD's Stan May said.
The wind was a challenge for fire crews, but they were able to contain the fire to one building in the complex.
According to the Red Cross, three of those units were unoccupied.
The Red Cross is assisting victims to provide assistance with immediate needs such as a place to stay, food and clothing.
"I'm just shocked that all of this happened and everything is gone," victim Katara Burch said.
Burch was at work when she got a call to rush home.
"I had a lot of sentimental value stuff in my (apartment) and all I can think is all of that is gone," Burch said.
Chris Pelton's apartment is still standing, but it's filled with water.
"I actually had to go back in and when you go back in, the water is up to your knees in there," Pelton said. "Nothing's salvageable."
Pelton and his wife moved into the building just one month ago.
They don't have any renter's insurance.
"We don't know what we're going to do," Pelton said. "Hopefully Red Cross will help out and we got family."
Since winter is quickly approaching and people are taking drastic measures to stay warm, TFD said it's important that all heating equipment is in tip-top shape.
"We need to make sure the heating equipment is used properly," May said. "Make sure you have working smoke detectors in an apartment complex. If your smoke detectors not working, call the manager. If they don't respond immediately, give us a call and we'll help them respond."