LEWISTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) — Just before the Christmas holiday, a fire burns a building for low-income residents.

Caution tape, debris, and several boarded-up windows can be found at the Kish Apartments in Lewistown, Mifflin County after a morning fire sent three people to the hospital and left nearly 45 without a home. Fire officials say the fire started just before 6:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“Scared, I mean at that point we didn’t know anything, so I didn’t know how big the fire was what floor it was on, or anything at that point,” Kelly Breon said.

Kathy Nash along with her family had to rush to get her 83-year-old mother out. Nash says her mom will stay with her till the complex says it’s okay to return.

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“I mean I want to make sure that she’s safe you know, comfortable best place I guess is with family,” Nash said.

Those who live there say they were shocked to see something like this happen.

“Mentally I don’t think I was right till about 1:30, 2 o’clock this afternoon,” Sue Brown said.

Brown lives on the fifth floor and she shared how nervous she is to sleep in her room after everything she saw.

“I heard clanking and banging, and I thought it was construction over there and I looked out my bedroom window and I saw glass flying and I looked up and there were flames shooting out the building,” Brown said.

The fire chief says more than 35 apartments have smoke/water damage or have no power. The American Red Cross and community members are helping those affected.

“And the community kept calling and wanted to offer help and I think it’s going to continue for a while until we get everybody back into their residence,” Bob Barlett said.

The fire chief says it’s still an ongoing investigation but confirms it was an accident.