Scary moments on Savannah's west side this afternoon. A fire broke out at a house on West 39th Street near Martin Luther King, Jr., Boulevard and quickly spread to neighboring homes.
At this time, we still do not know what caused the fire.
The smoke was so thick, it was hard to see the flames ripping through the top of the house, threatening to spread to the homes next door.
"We've got two neighboring structures, and the main thing is to try and shut that fire down before we lose all three," said Savannah Fire Department spokesman Matt Stanley.
But the closest fire hydrant was inoperative, which caused a slight delay as firefighters searched for another. After the setback, firefighters were finally able to get water to those homes.
"We immediately went to a defensive mode and worked to protect the neighboring structures," said Stanley.
With intense smoke impairing visibility, some firefighters had to catch their breaths while others stepped aside to gather up their strength.
"You know they get out there in the hot fire, they need some liquids," said Bob Tully with the American Red Cross. "So we brought six cases of water out here."
With one house completely engulfed, two were damaged as the flames spread across the rooftops. "I don't believe there was anybody home, we haven't heard any indication of any injuries, any fatalities," said Stanley.
Even though nobody was home at the time, fire investigators tell us that at least five families have been left without a place to stay.
"The families that have to get out of their homes now because of the fire, we'll have them come down to the Red Cross," said Tully.
The house where the fire started has now been completely demolished.