NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — Four people were brought to the hospital Tuesday morning after a fire broke out at a public housing building in New Bedford.

The fire at Bayberry Housing destroyed several units, leaving six people without a home for the time being. Many are now coming to grips with the fact they’ve likely lost everything.

Deputy Fire Chief Brian Medeiros said the call came in around 7:45 a.m. and firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the front of the building at the corner of West Hill Road and Rockway Street.

People inside heard screaming that there was a fire and everyone needed to get out.

“When she came knocking on my door this morning … I was just glad that I was there,” Janet Rapoza said of her friend, Deborah Pacheco, who then ran out of the burning building with only her cat in her arms.

Pacheco said she was told that her apartment may be the only one that’s salvageable.

“I have a Bible that I have, all the Mass cards and the flowers from my brother’s grave, and my mother and my father, and so I hope that my Bible is going to be OK,” she said.

Police went back in to retrieve Pacheco’s purse and medication. She’s now holding onto hope that she’ll be able to recover what’s irreplaceable, including what’s left of her longtime partner who died earlier this year.

“The ashes are both in the urn, and I’m hoping to retrieve them, and on the wall I have my dead brother who got killed in Vietnam, his picture,” Pacheco added.

Pacheco is now staying with Rapoza.

“Thankfully I have a friend Janet,” Pacheco said. “She is my angel.”

“Every time it’s heartbreaking when you see something like this happening, you know? But in a senior community it’s even worse,” Rapoza added.

The American Red Cross was called in to help the residents who were displaced.

Of the people taken to the hospital, one was in the intensive care unit and three were being monitored for smoke inhalation, according to Medeiros.

Crews were on scene all morning and were later called back after the fire reignited and filled the neighborhood with smoke.

The fire happened less than a day after New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell announced plans to expand the city’s fire prevention efforts, which include reinstating a code compliance officer.

Medeiros told 12 News the building was up to code and had working smoke detectors, which helped the residents get out quickly.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.