St. Johns - Trapped on the second and third floors, many residents of the Autumn Ridge Apartments on Sunview Drive in St. Johns were forced to climb through their windows and onto ladders to escape the flames and smoke overnight.
The fire department rushed to the building at 2:30 in the morning, when a resident called to say the hallway was on fire and the building was filling with smoke. Police officers, firefighters, and other residents helped rescue 14 people still inside. Three residents had to be taken to the hospital for cuts and smoke inhalation.
Firefighters say they had the flames out in a few minutes, but it took hours to clear the smoke and mop up. They estimate the apartment building sustained over $25,000 in damage.
25 residents have sought alternative housing.
The fire investigator has not yet released a cause, but says arson is not suspected.