AUBURN — About a dozen people scrambled from their homes Friday afternoon as flames tore through an apartment house at the corner of Pleasant and Court streets.

No one was hurt in the blaze. Tenants escaped with half a dozen dogs and cats, although one cat was left behind.

The cause was still being investigated Friday night.

The fire at 67 Pleasant St. was reported at about 1:40 p.m. Several witnesses reported seeing fire on all floors of the three-story building, including at the street level where flames blew across a Court Street sidewalk.

“There were flames coming right out that door,” said Sarah Gumprecht, pointing to the single door at street level.

At the same time, Gumprecht said, fire and thick smoke could be seen in a window on the second floor.

Sandy Goodman had been at home on Library Avenue when she saw smoke pouring from the apartment house a block away.

“By the time we got here, flames were shooting out the door,” Goodman said.

One teen, clad in shorts and sandals and carrying a backpack, said he came home from school to discover that his apartment was on fire.

Others huddled with their dogs and cats along a shaded section of Pleasant Street, watching firefighters battle the flames.

One woman sobbed on a sidewalk: Her dog had made it out of the building, friends said, but her cat had not.

The local chapter of the American Red Cross was providing help to the 14 people from seven families left homeless by the blaze.

Fire crews from Lewiston and Auburn responded. Firefighters who first entered the building reported finding fire on both the second and third floors.

Police blocked several intersections, including a stretch of Court Street from Spring to Turner streets. The road remained closed until around 5:30 p.m.

An hour after the fire was first discovered, thick smoke continued to pour from the eaves of the building and crews continued to find pockets of fire. Firefighters attacked the flames from all sides and cut holes in the roof to ventilate the building.

Later in the day, Auburn fire investigators were joined by officials from the Office of the Maine State Fire Marshal to search for a cause.

According to city tax records, the building contains seven apartments and is owned by a property management company in Scarborough.

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