OKLAHOMA CITY -  A woman and three children died in an apartment fire on the city's northwest side. It happened at the Quail Ridge apartment complex near Quail Springs Mall.

According to the Oklahoma City Fire Department, one man escaped by jumping off the balcony of a second-floor apartment. Unfortunately, his girlfriend and three children didn't make it out.

When Sue Rae looked outside her apartment Sunday morning, she saw a charred building where her neighbors once lived.

“It was a sad moment,” she said. “My heart just sunk when I finally heard that children had been involved and that they had died.”

Rae spent most of the night watching nearly 50 firefighters battle a three-alarm fire at her apartment complex.

“The flames were unreal, you know, just blazing,” Rae said. “That’s what I was concerned about, is ours would be probably the next, if it went any further.”

Dozens of 911 calls poured in around 3 a.m. Sunday. When firefighters arrived, they saw eight apartments on fire.

“They initially had to attack the fire from the exterior because there was just so much fire they were not able to get inside,” said Benny Fulkerson the Public Information Officer with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

Firefighters also found one man who had jumped from the balcony.

“He did sustain some second-degree burns and some other injuries from the jump,” said Fulkerson.

The man’s girlfriend, though, never got out. She died along with three other children, two boys and one girl, inside the apartment.

“The plan was for the others to follow him and that he would catch, was my understanding,” he said.

At daylight, fire investigators remained on the scene as cleanup crews began removing the debris. And residents like Rae left to process the loss.

“Very hard to get up and realize your neighbors right next to you are gone,” Rae said. “We'll pray for their families because this is gonna be a hard thing for them.”

The names of the victims are not being released. Eight apartments were destroyed, and 10-12 other units sustained smoke and water damage. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.