FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — After a fire at a Fall River apartment building forced a number of people from their homes, a city resident is opening his home to those affected.

On Wednesday, 16 of the 35 units at Borden Apartments remain empty as crews continue to clean and repair damage caused by the fire, smoke and water.

“All of a sudden, I saw the flames coming out of the building,” Michael Brennan recalled.

Both Brennan and the building’s manager agreed that things could have been much worse if the fire department wasn’t a few blocks away.

“Within minutes, they were right there,” Brennan added. “The other one from Plymouth Avenue was here in minutes as well, and they were just getting everyone out of the building as fast as they could.”

While crews worked to put out the fire on the third floor, the American Red Cross arrived to assist families in need.

“They brought sweatpants. They brought bottled water. They even gave them money assistance,” Brennan said.

Having friends that live inside the building, Brennan said he’s gotten to know plenty of the people who reside there.

With so many people displaced, he made a proposal to his roommate that they offer assistance not only to his friends, but to anyone displaced by the fire.

Acting Deputy Fire Chief Sean Flannery said the investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing, but it’s possible an overloaded extension cord sparked the flames.