A massive fire tore through the While Oaks apartment complex in Bayside on Saturday, March 30. Dozens of people are without a home as firefighters work to determine a cause. Residents are left wondering when and if they'll be able to get back inside.
"We saw it spreading like wildfire," said Veena Attivilli, resident.
Firefighters were called to the scene off Port Washington Road, around 12:15 a.m. As the building burned, it quickly spread through three floors, to the attic, and collapsed the roof. "I've never pictured this," said Attivilli. "I never pictured an entire building would go up in flames in 15 minutes."
Firefighters worked to safely evacuate everyone inside. "That's our plan and that's our goal, to save lives," said North Shore Fire Department Chief Robert Whitaker.
Officials rescued upwards of 20 people from balconies.
"We're just grateful no one was injured in this whole event," said Lt. Eric Miller, Bayside Police Department.
Daylight showed the extensive damage as firefighters worked to salvage items.