Residents displaced after major Indianapolis west side fire

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More than two dozen families lost their homes after a fire raged through an Indianapolis west side apartment building Wednesday morning.

The early morning battle started when neighbors sounded the alarm at Stratford Apartments on W. 25th St. and Georgetown Rd.

"All I heard was my neighbor screaming, and they were banging on my door, 'It's a fire! It's a fire!'" said one resident.

Fire broke out at the Stratford Apartments on the northwest side about 4:00 am Wednesday morning.

Investigators say one resident smelled smoke in his room and immediately warned his neighbors of danger.

"I didn't even think twice about grabbing anything. I just grabbed my daughter," said Eric Lowe, who made it out safely with her two-year-old daughter.

"I'm shocked. I'm shocked, I don't really know what to say about it," said Bi Gia, resident.

Flames were shooting through the roof of the building when firefighters arrived. Firefighters battled the blaze from bottom to top. Even with the arsenal of hoses, it took crews two hours to get the fire under control.

There were concerns about the building collapsing, but that didn't happen. In all 12 units were damaged and 26 people are left without homes.

"I just thank God for my neighbors because they saved our lives," said one resident.

Some say they heard smoke alarms, but mainly it was due to neighbors sounding their own alarms that no one was hurt.

A collection is underway right now for the victims of the fire.

People are asked to donate clean, gently used clothes at Northwest High School at 5525 West 34th Street.

The items will be distributed to the 26 families affected at 5:00 pm Wednesday.