Firefighters are blaming lightning for starting an early morning fire that destroyed an apartment complex in Rainbow City. Fire officials say they received a call at 5:23 this morning to the Dogwood Trace Apartments on Saint Christopher Street. When they arrived a few minutes later, they could see flames and smoke coming from the top of the complex. Rainbow City Firefighter Brad Crosby says the weather is mostly likely to blame for the fire. Crosby says the lightning was so bad the firefighters could not use their aerial unit to start putting out the blaze at the top of the complex. Despite the bad weather, all of the residents had already escaped from their apartments before the firefighters arrived. Connie Bright has lived in the Dogwood Trace Apartments for almost a year. She says the thunderstorm woke her up a few minutes before the fire began. Ms. Bright says the fire started so fast that she was able to get out of her apartment with only her robe and her shoes. Despite her losses, she says she is grateful to her community and her neighbors for looking out for each other. Red Cross volunteer Josh Tanner had already arrived at the Dogwood Trace Apartments by the middle of the morning, and his group had already started looking for ways to help the people who lost many of their belongings in the fire. Tanner says that while the Red Cross usually takes the lead in helping people during times of accidents and disasters, the work they do is the result of community concern and compassion. While the bad weather woke up many of the apartment residents this morning, Tanner says it was the smoke detectors inside those units that alerted them to the fire danger in time.