Everything changed for Rodney Williams' family, overnight. "It was something I would never like to experience again," said Williams.
Rodney says he was watching TV in his upstairs apartment, when his oldest son ran in to tell him the building was on fire. "I didn't even have time to put on shoes and I came down and actually had to go back up because my wife was in the shower and she had no idea," said Williams. Both narrowly made it out of the apartment. "I had to jump over the stairs because the blaze had reached the stairs and she was too scared to jump over the stairs," said Williams. "She came down and kinda got singed a little bit on her arm."
Rodney says he considers his son to be a hero. "My kids are my world," said Williams. I changed my life for a lot of reasons and my kids are the reason. So for my kids to save me, I'm so thankful."
A dog cage is among one of the few items that survived the fire. Although made of plastic, it stood up under the extreme temperatures. Miraculously, so did the dog inside. "The roof caved in and everything but the dog still made it," said Williams.
Neighbors in the building next door say they almost couldn't believe their eyes. "They opened the cage and called his name and he jumped out excited, it was unbelievable," said Amanda Braly.
While the Williams family and their dog made it out ok, not much else did. However, Rodney says he's optimistic they'll be able to make a fresh start.
The Red Cross is providing hotel rooms for Williams and other residents who were displaced by the fire, through Sunday night. After that, they say they're not sure where they'll go next.