BREMERTON -- A fire ripped through the Madrona Estates Apartments killing an elderly woman and forcing 16 others from their homes. Nearly 50 firefighters battled the fire.
Two apartments were destroyed and the rest of the building was heavily damaged by smoke and water, officials said.
Neighbors said the flames and smoke were billowing out of the home.
"The flames were just billowing out it was really bad," said neighbor Kimberly Nelson. "People were just running around not even really knowing what was going on."
Neighbors tried to rescue the elderly woman but it was too late.
"I ran down to make sure she wasn't home but by the time I got to the window it bursted out with flames," said resident Shausta Lippy.
The tragedy on Christmas Eve weighs heavy in Bremerton where some families lost all of their belongings.
"It makes me really sad that that happened," Nelson said. "Her and her families that were around her they pretty much lost everything there. They've lost pretty much everyting on Christmas Eve.
The Red Cross is working to place more than 20 families in emergency housing.
Fire officials are still searching for a cause.