When firefighters arrived, they found that the blaze was already through the roof.
Everyone escaped ahead of the flames, including one woman who was trapped in an upstairs unit.
"The intense fire and smoke conditions blocked her normal way out requiring her to break a window to escape," said Fire Capt. Rob Brisley. "Waiting below and shouting encouragement were two (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police) Officers who convinced her to drop into their arms."
It took 64 firefighters 38 minutes to extinguish the blaze.
During the search of the building, firefighters removed three dogs and reunited them with owners.
The Red Cross is working with the displaced families.
At this time the cause of the fire in still under investigation. Fire officials estimated the damage at more than $300,000.
Written by Charlotte Observer