CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- More than a dozen people were left homeless after flames ripped through a Charlestown apartment complex Friday night.

Firefighters from several agencies got the call around 5 p.m. Friday to the Parkside Trace Apartments on Harmony Lane, but by the time they got there, it was already too late.

The fire started on the ground floor and quickly spread to the second, engulfing several units. Many residents watched helplessly as their homes were destroyed.

"The whole complex is a total loss," said Andre Heal, the assistant chief of the Charlestown Fire Department. "The Red Cross is assisting with medications, [and] a place to stay the night."

One firefighter sustained minor injuries battling the fire. Investigators says a cigarette tossed in a flower pot on the patio sparked it

Crews are expected to watch it for hot spots throughout the night.

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