Residents rush to safety as Kansas City apartment building is consumed in smoke and flames

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dozens of people are without a place to sleep Friday night after flames scorched a metro area apartment building. A fire broke out in a building at the Harvard Court apartment complex near Independence. Multiple people were inside of the building at the time of the fire, at least 30 units were affected by the large fire.

Kailean Erwin says she is grateful to be alive after narrowly escaping the fire.

“Me and my roommates were in our building on the third floor and my roommate asked me if I was burning anything, and I said no then I checked all the outlets then I realized there was smoke coming from my floor,” said Erwin.

The flames spread so fast she only had time to grab a few essentials before getting out.

“I didn't even get my birth certificate or social [security card]. I have nothing, the clothes I have on are all I have. Everything that we own is gone,” she explained.

Red Cross volunteers arrived on scene a short time after the fire to help.

“Some people may have lost everything and they don’t know where to turn. The Red Cross is here to provide comfort and hope and assistance as needed,” said Red Cross volunteer Carl Manning.

Finding people a place to sleep was its main goal, but the agency will continue to help families in the coming weeks.

“We will be providing immediate needs such as lodging, food clothing, in the coming days we will be meeting with them to discuss their long term recovery needs and making a plan for their long term recovery,” said Manning.

Fire investigators are still working to determine an official cause for this fire.