EVERMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – Authorities continue to investigate the massive apartment fire that happened on Thursday morning in Everman. The blaze left dozens of people looking for a new place to call home, but the community has rallied around these families. A total of 24 apartment units, and even some cars, were destroyed during the fire.

Several people throughout the community, including teachers at a nearby elementary school, are among those now collecting items to donate to the roughly 60 individuals who lost their homes on Thursday morning.

READ MORE: 4 Interceptions Including A Pick 6 Help Deliver 27-17 Victory For Cowboys Over Saints

A city official confirmed that the fire was started by an arsonist. One resident said that she remembers an unknown man knocking on her door and asking to stay. After she said no, the fire began just a few minutes later. Police have identified a person of interest in this case, but have not released any further details.

Several residents — including children, individuals with special needs and elderly folks — had to jump from a second-story window to escape the raging flames. At least two people were treated by paramedics.

About 15 of those people impacted by the fire stayed Thursday night at a nearby Fort Worth shelter set up by the American Red Cross. The loss has been heartbreaking for several families. But others are doing their best to help those in need. “I think it’s been great. I’m blessed to have my life, old as I am, falling from the top floor,” said apartment resident Freda Manning.

READ MORE: Government Shutdown Averted: US Senate Passes Stopgap Funding Bill

“Just sad to see people that are hard-working, decent people, and they get a blow like that,” said director of emergency services Randy Sanders. Officials added that the apartment building will have to be torn down, after it stops smoldering. That could happen Friday.

Top Trending:

MORE NEWS: Fantasy Football Start Or Sit Week 13: Elijah Mitchell Looks To Take Advantage Of Seahawks' Defense