OKEMOS, Mich. (WLNS) — A large fire broke out at Knob Hill Apartments in Okemos Wednesday morning.

Clouds of smoke from the fire were large enough to be visible from the nearby highway when the incident first started.

Michael Hamel with the Meridian Township Fire Department said they got a call for a couch fire around 11 a.m. Wednesday, and by the time they got there just a few minutes later, the second floor and third floor were ‘well involved.’

Hamel said they were able to rescue people off decks on the building, and people on the backside were able to get off through their balconies as well.

Within minutes of starting, the fire was through the roof, Hamel said.

At this time, they’re not sure how the couch caught fire, but it started in an apartment on the first floor, Hamel said.

“As far as we know, everybody is out,” Hamel said. “There are a couple of people that the apartment complex is just confirming they were at work and not in there.”

The fire also spread from the building that it started in, and severely damaged another one.

The second building where the fire spread to is roughly half-destroyed, Hamel said.

They will now have to tear the building down so they can get to the hot spots and make sure they’re out, Hamel said.

Officials from the Meridian Township Fire Department, East Lansing Fire Department, Mason Fire Department, Lansing Fire Department, NIESA, and, the Red Cross were all at the scene and helping out.

There were at least 18 units in the building where the fire started, including the Knob Hill leasing office.

For much of the time the fire was burning, large pieces of ash were flying through the air.

A manager at Best Western told 6 News they are going to be putting up anyone displaced in their hotel for free. The hotel is located just down the road at 2209 University Park Dr. in Okemos.

This story will be updated as more details are made available.