Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

METAIRIE, La. - A three-alarm fire at a Metairie apartment complex has left four families and a total of 17 people homeless.

Four apartment units now sit charred and doused in water after a fire started inside the walls of the complex.

At the time Mona Khalil was home with her mother and brother when, suddenly, she noticed heavy smoke coming from their bathroom.

'I told my mom, we have fire in the house,' said Mona Khalil. 'My mom searched all the house for if we have fire.'

Jefferson Parish fire officials say the fire started in a neighboring apartment and quickly spread to the other three apartments after the flames ate through the ceiling.

However, at time no one had any idea where the fire was coming from.

'I run outside to my neighbors and they said we have fire too in the house, and I said your house?' said Khalil. 'They said no, but we have fire.'

Luckily everyone inside the building was able to make it out safely, but now the fire leaves 17 people homeless this Easter.

'It could have been a whole lot worse,' said Red Cross Volunteer Joey Riggs. 'There could have been lives lost.'

The Red Cross immediately stepped in to help the families find a place to stay.

'It's rough because you always want to put yourself in their shoes, so you want to treat the people you would want to be treated yourself,' said Riggs.

This afternoon Khalil and her family packed up what belongs they could salvage, and although they have lost nearly everything, they says they are happy for all the help and the support they have received.

'They have giving us money for food, clothes, everything,' say Khalil. 'They are good.'

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but investigators believe it could have been electrical.

If you would like to help any of the families displaced in Friday's fire, donations can be made at the local chapter of the Red Cross.

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