Resident Lucy Anders says she and her two dogs lived on the second level where the fire quickly burned, but she says she didn't smell smoke at first.
"I was sound asleep ... heard an explosion, then I went back to sleep," Anders said.
Officials confirm that the source of that sound was a lightning strike that sparked the blaze.
Seconds later, a firefighter woke Anders up by pounding on her door.
"And I said, 'what are you doing,'" Anders said. "And he said, 'it's the fire department. You have to get out now, the building is on fire.'"
"I didn't see any fire when I came out," resident Katrina Lucas said. "It wasn't until I had walked out. My partner had gone back in the house, I saw her come back out, I got my daughter out and we were standing right here. It was a good few seconds before I even saw any kind of flame."
Authorities tell ABC11 that about 30 people inside the two-story building made it out unharmed.
They say the upper floors of the building were gutted, while the lower floors have water and smoke damage. Eight units have been declared uninhabitable after about 60 percent of the building was damaged.
In the meantime, residents evacuated from the building now need new places to stay. Management at the apartment complex is trying to make other arraignments for the residents, while the Red Cross is also assisting.