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SALT LAKE CITY -- An early morning fire at a Salt Lake City apartment building forced dozens to evacuate. Firefighters still don't know what caused this fire. They are not calling it suspicious at this point.
Firefighters received multiple calls about the fire on Montgomery Street near 200 South and 1600 West just before 1 a.m. Tuesday. Firefighters say the flames were so big and hot, it threatening another apartment building nearly 40 feet away.
Mark Bednarik of the Salt Lake City Fire Department explained, "The vinyl siding on that complex is melted, as well as the vinyl blinds inside the windows, from the radiant heat. That's how big this fire was when the units arrived."
Firefighters were initially told several people were trapped inside the burning building, but those residents were able to escape through a second-story window before firefighters arrived.
The fire was very large, very intense, so intense that it melted the siding on the apartment complex about 40 feet away.
–Mark Bednarik, with the Salt Lake City Fire Department.
Neighbor Jeff Pipkin watched as several young children were dropped to safety.
"There were people panicking, getting out as quick as they could," Pipkin said.
Pipkin and other neighbors say the fire moved quickly, destroying everything in its path. Richard Steven's was trying to help his neighbors move their cars before the fire consumed them, but he says the flames got too big.
"They were like coming, breaking out of the windows and just shooting out of the windows," Stevens said.
Both apartment buildings were evacuated. The 14 residents of the burned building were displaced by the fire. The American Red Cross is now helping those people find food, clothing and shelter.
Story compiled with information from Shara Park and Randall Jeppesen.