FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Dawn Saunders’ apartment is almost unrecognizable.

Her unit is on the top floor at the Bone Creek Apartment complex in Fayetteville.

Saunders and family spent Wednesday afternoon packing a U-Haul with whatever they could salvage hours after a fire ripped through her building Tuesday.

Dawn, who was not home at the time, was hanging out with her daughter on Tuesday evening.  She eventually got a frantic call from a friend that lives in the same complex.

“I got here, and I saw it and I was like ‘oh my god!’ It just broke my heart because I knew that I had lost everything,” she said.

Fayetteville firefighters said they got there just after 8 p.m. on Tuesday. No one was hurt, but the fire displaced people living in 12 units.

With the thought of losing everything, Saunders held out hope for one thing.

“I lost my father some years back. He was in there in a glass vase that I had in there. So, that was the biggest thing for me. I didn’t want to lose him all over again,” Saunders said as tears welled up.

As luck would have it, her vase was still intact.

“So, when we went up there. The stand that he was on was completely destroyed, but he was intact. So, yeah, I got him back,” Saunders mentioned as she smiled.

She said she’s staying with family and working with the American Red Cross to get back on her feet.

The Fayetteville Fire Department said Wednesday the cause of the blaze was improperly discarded smoking materials on the balcony.