Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Fourteen families have been left without a home after a fire at a Columbia apartment complex Monday afternoon.

The fire began around 4 p.m. at a set of units at 401 Burnside Drive, on the southeast side of town.

When firefighters arrived, flames could be seen shooting from the roof of the C building. Heavy smoke could be seen for several miles around.

Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins said a total of three people ultimately had to be hospitalized. He said two firefighters were overcome by heat and had to be treated at the scene.

A total of 16 units were damaged. The Red Cross is assisting the families.

Jenkins said right now, they're not sure what caused the blaze.

"We're talking to residents, trying to figure out what they saw, and just anything we need to determine how this thing started," Jenkins said.

PHOTOS: Apartment Fire in Southeast Columbia