MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) – Families in Madison are left picking up the pieces of what used to be a bright welcoming home after a fire scorched through a four-unit apartment building Wednesday afternoon on the corner of Angela Drive and Gillespie Road.

A total of 16 people were displaced and are now searching for a place to stay after the fire. The American Red Cross donated $510 to each family to help provide immediate necessities like food and a temporary room.

Most families affected, like Cleopatra Magwood and her family, are grateful for the money but say it’s still a long road to get back on their feet.

“I thank them for that,” said Magwood. “But, I just don’t know what we’re going to do.”

The Magwood family returned to the unit Thursday morning after the fire to salvage what they could. The smell of smoke still lingered as they sorted through clothes.

“I was getting the clothes to try to wash the smoke damage, the smell is awful,” she told News 19. “You can’t be in there. The whole ceiling in my room is just leaking it just messed up all my clothes, my bedroom is awful.”

Cleopatra Magwood and her family moved into the building just six months ago. As they were finally getting settled, the unimaginable happened.

“We were sorting clothes I immediately smelled smoke and grabbed the kids I heard them outside hollering and grabbed the kids. I didn’t know it was as bad as it was. I thought maybe something was just burning and come to find out it was a fire.”

The Magwoods live next door to the unit that started the fire – home to Hope Curry and her children. She says she was on her way home from getting groceries to start dinner, but when she pulled up she found her son and nephew outside with a scene of smoke behind them.

“The kids were here and I was just so thankful to see everyone outside the door versus the materialistic things that we lost,” Curry said. “At that point, it was like hey nobody is going back in there. If we lose everything it’s unfortunate, but we’re going to get through it.”

The family lost everything, including their puppy and two other pets. But through it all Curry thanks God every day that her family is safe.

The Madison Fire Department has not yet released a cause for the fire.