NEWBERRY — As heavy rains fell early Wednesday morning five people had to jump from a second story window as flames engulfed their apartment.
The 4 a.m. alarm at Newberry Arms Apartments off Wilson Road has left 17 people temporarily homeless and one apartment destroyed.
Newberry Fire Chief Keith Minick said all six apartments in the building had some smoke damage and three had fire related damages.
But he said he hopes at least two of the apartments can be cleaned and occupied again by the first of the week.
The cause of the early morning blaze is not known and is under investigation, said Minick.
He added that smoke alarms were working but there were five people in the apartment on fire who had to jump from a second story window.
Two of those people were taken to the hospital for injuries related to the jump from the top story but there were no injuries related to the fire or breathing in smoke.
The apartment beside the one that burned was currently vacant.
Minick says the apartments meet fire codes but due to the age of the building that sprinkler systems are not required.
The Red Cross has been called in to provide assistance to 17 people living in the apartments.
Firefighters from Newberry and Friendly responded to the scene as well as Newberry Police, EMS and Newberry County Rescue.
Minick said it was a challenge to put out the fire with heavy rains falling at the team. He added all of the personal on scene were drenched by the rains which make their work harder.
“Everyone did a great job,” he said.
Crews remained on the scene through the early afternoon hours Wednesday.