It happened around 10 p.m. at the Briarcliffe Condominiums in the 1800 block of Tryon Drive, near Pamalee Drive.
At least eight units were involved. Firefighters said everyone inside the units got safely.
Residents told ABC11 that they escaped with little more than the clothes on their back.
"I know my unit suffered a lot of damage," said resident Kevin Pittman, who lived on the first floor of the unit that caught fire. "I could not grab anything. I was concerned about getting out of the house and hoping that the fire department would get here and put fire out."
Resident Duane Childress said he was asleep when his wife woke him up saying she smelled smoke. He said it happened so quickly that he had to run outside in his underwear and was unable to save anything.
Fayetteville Fire Battalion Commander Robert Brinson said the blaze quickly engulfed the building as heavy winds fanned the flames and hindered firefighters' efforts.
"About a third of all the fire was extended through the roof," he said. "Wind conditions pushed the flames through the whole building, main concern was to protect other buildings and evacuate the one here."
It took fire crews almost two hours to get the blaze under control. Over a dozen people are now looking for a place to stay.
There's no word yet on what sparked the fire.