Firefighters battled a blaze at the Bryan Woods Apartments off Vandora Springs Road late Thursday night, and authorities said there were no reported injuries as of 11:30 p.m.
The fire broke out 10 p.m., said Sgt. Joe Binns of the Garner Police Department. It was under control by 11 p.m., but firefighters remained busy putting out hot spots for the next hour.
Eight units of the apartment building in the 900 block of Bryan Place were gutted, and eight more sustained extensive smoke damage, Binns said. All residents of the units had been accounted for, he said.
The dramatic fire sent flames skyward as firefighters with ladder trucks battled it from overhead. A smoldering skeleton of the building's roof was all that was left as firefighters gained the upper hand on the blaze.
"They woke us up, banging on the door," said Janie Gillispie, who was asleep in her apartment with her grandchildren. Five people escaped the apartment, Gillispie said.
Neighbors gathered on the sidewalk, watching firefighters put out the flames.
Binns said authorities did not know the cause of the fire, which is under investigation.