By Lisa Gresci

NEWTON (CBS) – Hundreds of people have been forced out of their apartments in Newton due to a small fire and subsequent water damage. Nearly 800 people, many of them elderly, are displaced after the fire in The Towers of Chestnut Hill apartment complex.

Firefighters believe a kitchen fire broke out on the eighth floor of the south tower Monday afternoon. The sprinkler system contained the fire to the unit, but the water got into the building’s electrical system.

The Towers of Chestnut Hill apartment complex (WBZ-TV)

Once that was discovered, firefighters made the call to evacuate both towers.

Police, firefighters and the Red Cross assisted people by carrying suitcases and helping them down several flights of stairs.

Residents evacuated from The Towers apartment complex in Chestnut Hill (WBZ-TV)

“We lost elevators, a lot of it was trucking down even from the 12th floor, assisting them down the stairwells, there’s an elderly population, some of them evacuated with stair chairs it was quite a lengthy manpower operation,” said Newton Fire Chief Bruce Proia.

“I think I got a lot of water damage, and all these elderly people they have nowhere to go a lot of them had to book hotels,” said one resident.

Three people suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital.

Lisa Gresci