A midday fire roasted the complex on Wednesday leaving nothing but crumbled brick and broken memories behind.
Just 11 days before Christmas and 65 people will now have to find a new home with many also needing new clothes after a fire destroyed the Ashwood Ridge Apartments in Jonesboro.
The fire was so big it brought the whole building down - though quick action prevented anyone from being hurt.
It's hard to believe that the destruction left behind after the fire was, in fact, a building - but they were. The building included 10 apartments full of families with kids, moms, brothers and sisters.
Now, all of them are starting over with nothing.
It's like the universe just hit the reset button on everybody who lived here," Roy Henderson said. "It's like we'll have to start from zero."
He made it out with his 8-year-old son.
"It was just, like muscle memory; I know where my phone was, my wallet and my keys and I just grabbed it and ran out," Henderson said.
But his mind boggled over all that was still left inside.
"Christmas presents for my son," he said. "An XBox, he wanted some Jordan tennis shoes and I promised. I was going to get it to them. He made really good grades this year."
The fire was so hot it melted gas lines which then leaked. And strong winds carried the flames to the building next door.
Nathan Ukwuoma lived there with his wife and four kids. For him, the future - what they'll do next - is unclear.
It's like I'm paralyzed; I don't know," he said. "I don't know."
How do you start to rebuild when the thing you need most is "everything."
"I don't know how else to put it," Ukwuoma said. "Everything, literally everything."
As the saying goes, disasters bring people together. They hope that rings true again this time.
"Nobody should be homeless on Christmas," Henderson said.
If you want to help, the Clayton County Sheriff's Office is asking for donations for the families to help them get back on their feet for the holiday season. Christmas toys and other necessities can be dropped off at the apartment complex with the manager, Tricia Grier, located at 276 Upper Riverdale Road in Jonesboro, Ga. You can contact 770-991-2117 for more information.