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20 people displaced amid Henrietta apartment building fire

Twenty people are out of their homes after a fire early Thursday morning at the Bennington Hills Apartments in Henrietta. (Photo: Henrietta Fire District)

Henrietta, N.Y. (WHAM) - Twenty people are out of their homes after a fire early Thursday morning at the Bennington Hills Apartments in Henrietta.

The fire broke out just after 4 a.m; crews were on scene within minutes.

Several residents said Monroe County Sheriff's deputies woke them up, and helped them get out of their smoke-filled apartments. They say without that wake-up call, they don’t know if they would have made it out.

Investigators tell us no one was hurt, but those 20 people were displaced.

The Henrietta assistant fire chief says the fire started on the second floor, the attic falling through into the first floor.

The families in the apartments have lost everything. They said the fire spread so fast, they are just relieved they got out in time.

“My dog started barking. And I didn’t know why,” said Sammy Denney, who lived in an apartment with her daughter. “I looked out saw flames, smelled smoke, ran outside and my dog ran out."

The place Denney and her daughter called home just yesterday, is now destroyed.

Denney and over a dozen other tenants are grateful to be safe now after waking up to a two-alarm fire.

The flames were so bright, some neighbors thought it was the sun rising.

“It was very intense,” said Hope Taylor, another resident. “It started from the end of the apartment, and within seconds it just went through the whole apartment.”

75 firefighters from six companies worked to contain the flames.

Sheriff's deputies helped to get people out safely.

Two other buildings near the apartments were also evacuated, including a Days Inn.

The eight apartment units are total losses.

“There’s a lot of void spaces in this type of construction. It got going pretty well. Got going into the attic,” said Henrietta Assistant Fire Chief Mark Cholach.

Many tenants didn't have a chance to save anything.

“We didn’t know what to do but get out,” said Denney. “I didn’t get dressed, I got her dressed and got her going. That was it. Our dog ran off, we haven’t seen him since. He was a rescue so hopefully he’ll come back. I think he rescued us.”

The cause is still unclear. The neighbors displaced are now working with the American Red Cross to find a place to stay.

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