By Juli McDonald

FRANKLIN (CBS) – Dozens of Franklin neighbors and families watched in panic Monday afternoon as flames tore through a large building at the Franklin Crossing Condominiums. In total, 12 units were destroyed, and even more temporarily unlivable until power is restored. There were no reports of injuries.

The fire started around 2:15 p.m. on Franklin Crossing Road, and soon thick smoke poured from the third floor.

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“There was one unit on fire; unfortunately with the heavy wind that did travel to the adjacent building,” explained Battalion Chief Chuck Allen.

Fire at a Franklin condo. (WBZ-TV)

It took crews about two hours to get the fire under control – their efforts complicated by water supply and that wind. Outside, neighbors scrambled – scanning for each other and their animals.

They were like, ‘you’ve got to get out now, right now!’” one neighbor recalled.

“There’s an ex fireman who lives in building 6 who ran around ringing all the doorbells. So we grabbed the cat and took off,” another neighbor said.

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That retired firefighter is Mike Wright, who served the town of Needham for 37 years.

“Just doing what anybody would’ve done. They’re grateful, I’m grateful too,” Wright said.

That grateful feeling shared by many, reminding themselves what matters most.

“I haven’t had a job for a year. Now I may not have a home. Definitely everything will have smoke damage. But me and my grandson and my dog made it out, so that’s all that counts,” said Donna Masters.

“Things can be replaced. Nobody got hurt so that’s that.”

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Investigators are still looking into the cause of the fire.

Juli McDonald