A two-alarm fire gutted four units at a Donelson apartment complex Tuesday afternoon.
The blaze at the Stewarts Ferry Apartments located at 8100 Stewarts Ferry Pike broke out around 12:40 p.m.
Flames were visible through the roof of the building and thick, black smoke could be seen from as far away as Lebanon.
A Vanderbilt University LifeFlight helicopter flying overhead first spotted the blaze and notified authorities.
The building that caught fire has a total of eight units. Four units are completely destroyed and four families are displaced.
Firefighters managed to save the other four apartments from major damage although they suffered smoke and water damage.
Everyone home at the time escaped without injury including resident Danielle Daniel, who helped alert other residents to the fire.
"I was just sitting in my apartment and I just started smelling smoke," she recalled. "I did not think much of it because the fire alarms did not go off. Ten to 15 minute later I walked outside and from neighbor's door [there were] huge beams of smoke and then [I] started banging on doors making sure everyone was out."
Fifty firefighters responded to the scene and took turns fighting the fire due to the extreme cold.
"It's probably the most miserable conditions we can encounter in our profession," Assistant Fire Chief Steve Holt told News 2. "Even though they work hard and they sweat, they are susceptible to frostbite."
The sub-freezing temperatures also made fighting the fire difficult.
Water pipes and fire hydrants in the area were frozen and water that was being used was freezing as it made contact with the pavement.
The fire marshal has been on the scene and will investigate to determine the exact cause of the fire.
Thursday, August 28 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-28 19:28:07 GMT
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