ANTIOCH, Calif. (KTVU) - A fire at the Delta Pines apartment complex in Antioch left dozens of people homeless.
A tenant saw the smoke and flames and alerted her neighbors.
Now, a fence surrounds the two buildings burned by the fire.
The complex houses many low income families.
They say they don't have a home anymore and lost almost everything.
The three alarm fire broke out around 8:15 a.m. Wednesday.
"I was in my backyard and I heard these pops," said Mary Delgado, "Right here, I see the black smoke and the flames. I just started screaming fire... fire."
Her screams woke up many of her neighbors. They say she saved their lives.
"Even though I watched my house go up in flames, I still can't believe it," said Toinenca "Tiny" Hicks, a tenant.
The displaced residents tell KTVU they ran from their apartments with only the clothes on their backs
"Everything I worked for just gone. That really hurts me. We got to start all over. We don't have nothing. I don't even know what I'm going to dress in tomorrow. It just hurts me," said Hicks.
Three single moms with young children shared a three bedroom apartment that is now destroyed by fire.
They say they just paid their monthly rent Tuesday of $1,500.
"Me and my daughter don't have nowhere to go. We're homeless," said Deanna Banks.
The city of Antioch tagged the buildings as unsafe to occupy.
The Red Cross offered to put the displaced families in a shelter, but many tenants say that's not suitable for their children.
"I don't know what to say. I'm in disbelief," said Banks.
Most plan to stay with family until they find another home.
Firefighters were able to salvage some personal items, such as one woman's purse.
"I keep all my important info here... this is all my stuff," said Hicks as she showed KTVU the documents and identification cards inside her water damaged purse.
Firefighters saved another tenant's cat and other irreplaceable items. "My grandma's picture... messed up but you can see," said Stephanie Cordova.
The fire chief says the cause of the fire appears to be a short or electrical failure in the main electrical panel outdoors between two buildings.
"We're all alive... that's what matters," said Rebecca Kern.
A spokesman for Affordable Housing Development Corporation, the property management company, tells KTVU it’s working with the families to get them into alternate apartments as soon as possible.
But several tenants say what's being offered to them is much smaller than what they were renting so they're still trying to figure out what to do.
Go FundMe's have been set up for several families: