FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – The Red Cross said it is assisting after a fire destroyed or damaged more than 12 units at a Fayetteville apartment complex on Wednesday.

The Fayetteville Fire Department said crews were on scene at 8:30 p.m. at the complex on Creek Meadow Place.

Fire investigators said it started after someone was smoking on a third floor balcony and failed to properly discard it.

Smoke and water damage displaced families. Fire fighters credits the sprinkler system inside the apartments for minimizing damage from flames.

The apartment complex is working on cleaning the damaged units, so families can return.

“It’s a shock. Nobody ever thinks it’ll happen to them. But we want our community to be prepared. Luckily everybody got out safely and that’s a bonus. So, we just want to work with them. See what their next steps are and how we can be part of that,” Phillip Harris Jr., Executive Director of Sandhills Chapter of American Red Cross said.

The Red Cross said it is helping 18 people who were displaced by the fire.