MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Five families have been displaced after a fire started at a Parkway Village apartment complex Wednesday.
The Memphis Fire Department said the fire at Twin Oaks Apartments started because of unattended food left on the stove.
It is unclear if any families lived in the building.
Fire quickly ripped through the Twin Oaks Apartments.
Thick black smoke billowed out of shattered windows.
Resident Rhonda Mallory said she was asleep when the fire broke out.
"I was actually asleep and I got a knock on the door from the maintenance man saying, hey come out the house is on fire," said Mallory.
She said the kitchen fire consumed her next door neighbor's apartment.
"Next thing you know the windows start popping. It got out of control so fast," said Mallory.
Neighbors told WMC the renter was cooking chicken when the fire broke out.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, Tennessee ranks number 13 in the country for cooking-related fires.
One out of three home fires begin in the kitchen, more than any other place in the home.
Mallory's apartment is now unlivable.
Her carpet soaked from water and the home is saturated with the smell of smoke.
Total damage is estimated around $30,000.
Despite the damage Mallory feels thankful.
"Very thankful. I made it out, the children made it. There was at least 5 children between these two homes they all made it out safely," said Mallory.
For this Thanksgiving, Mallory's plans of a holiday feast are now on hold.
"We are trying to get settled in at the Red Cross, the hotel that the Red Cross gave us. And that’s about it. I don’t have time to be worrying about trying to be cooking food. It’s not even going to be a thanksgiving this year,"said Mallory.
She along with four other families are receiving help from the Red Cross.
"I didn’t really know none of my neighbors but everybody came together as a community. And I appreciate that. It made me feel good," Mallory said.
The fire turned out to be a tragedy that Mallory said brought Twin Oaks Apartment neighbors closer.