CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio -- Brandee Woods and Casey Iles were taking out the trash when they first noticed smoke inside the building where Casey lives.
"I was like 'I smell fire'," Woods, who lives in a neighboring building, said of the fire that broke out inside an apartment building on Winter Parkway in Cuyahoga Falls late Thursday night.
Woods said she has bad asthma and had to run out of the building. "I had to get out of there or I would have had a coughing fit."
She told Iles to run to her dad.
That's when both young women saw a man come running out of his burning apartment.
"Dude comes bursting out of his door yelling 'call 911'," Woods said.
"At first it was clear smoke," Iles said. "But when he opened the door it was just black smoke coming out."
Even though the fire was contained to one unit, the entire building had to be evacuated because of extensive smoke damage throughout the building.
Walters credited the quick work of the Cuyahoga Falls Fire Department and several neighboring departments for keeping the fire contained to one unit. He said a firefighter and four people who lived in the building were taken to local hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation. Their injuries were said to be minor.
"I saw a few people going out on stretchers which is really kind of really sad," Iles said. "I hope they're okay."
"We have roughly 20 residents here with no where to go," Don Walters, Cuyahoga Falls Mayor, said. "The Red Cross is on their way. We'll get them placed."
Walters said everyone else who lives in the building is staying with family or friends.
"I'm honestly really scared," Woods told Fox 8. "I did not think this could ever happen."
"It's normally a nice and quiet building," Iles said. "So when you see smoke you start freaking out because mostly everyone in that building is really nice so you wouldn't expect anything like that to happen to anyone."
The cause of the fire is under investigation.