North Bennington, Vt. – A North Bennington apartment complex was destroyed by fire Thursday afternoon, displacing at least four residents.
Fire crews from several fire companies responded to the fire on Water Street in North Bennington.
Officials say it is a three-unit apartment complex and that although four people were home at the time of the blaze, no one was injured.
Those home during the time of the fire describe hearing popping noises and then smelling smoke before realizing their apartment was on fire.
"I heard some popping noises," said Bennington College student Logan Bingham. "Noticed some smoke coming out of this small closet."
When he went to investigate, he could see the fire on the ceiling. Bingham then woke up one of his roommates and left the home.
Volunteer firefighters were first on scene. Keith Cross, first assistant chief,said heavy smoke and fire was coming from a second floor doorway.
Firefighters contained the flames to two of the three apartments and shut off electricity and gas to the building.
"After we knocked the fire down and got it under control where we can get in and investigate. What we determined is that we have an electrical fire in-between the second and third floor," Cross said.
Building owner Jamie Carey says he had just sat down to eat Thanksgiving dinner with his parents when he got the phone call. He rushed over to find all his tenants had made it out of the building safe.
"I saw my tenants, I wanted to make sure that they were safe, number one, and they were," Carey said.
But the fire destroyed the building he's owned for 10 years.
"One of the most upsetting things that I've seen, when something you own is on fire, and there's nothing you can do," he said.
Carey has been a contractor for nearly 40 years, and said he's not sure what's next for the building.
"I take a look at the damage. I understand what's damaged. I understand the work that it takes to rebuild something like this. So, I just don't know what the next steps are at this point," he explained.
But he's thankful no tenants or firefighters were injured.
"They're in good spirits. That's all I care about, nobody got hurt," he said.
The Red Cross is assisting one resident, while Bennington College is placing three displaced students into dorms. A fifth resident was visiting family at the time of the fire.