AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - One UMass student is dead and the Red Cross is helping dozens of people find shelter after a destructive and deadly fire in an Amherst apartment complex.
A terrifying wake up call for many people who live at Rolling Green apartment complex in Amherst.
One neighbor told 22News he woke up and saw heavy flames and smoke.
A massive fire killed one University of Massachusetts Amherst student and left at least 30 people homeless.
Dozens of people had to leave their homes with just what they put on the night before to go to bed. Now friends and neighbors are coming together to hep those families find food, clothing and shelter.
Bob Martinelli who lives in the building next door said "They were out the door, so my friends had shorts on. They didn't have big coats. There were some students out here with just little jackets and stuff. It's scary. I know everybody. They lost everything."
UMass Amherst spokesperson called this fire is a "terrible tragedy."
Students said it is a tragedy that could've happened anywhere, especially during wintertime... and it can easily be prevented.
Dianna Panetta, senior at UMass Amherst told 22News "I live in the dorms, so we have fire drills once per semester to make sure that everything is working well."
Alex Barth who graduated from UMass said "It's not just as winter comes. I think about it yearround. Making sure the stove is off before I leave the house. Making sure I don't leave any candles burning. I know that's a leading cause of fires."
Both the Red Cross and UMass Amherst are working with students and families who lost their homes.