PHILADELPHIA (CBS) —  On one of winter’s coldest nights, nearly two dozen Center City residents aren’t allowed to return home, displaced after tonight’s four alarm fire ripped through a multi-family, two story residence in Center City.

“Everything they have in the world is gone. You know, it’s awful and it’s so cold and there are so many people and dogs and babies, it’s just really terrible,” neighbor Dori Molozanov told Eyewitness News.

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“It’s pretty scary don’t know which way wind is going to blow which way going to spread,” Stacer Reeves said. Reeves lives across the street and his kitchen window looks out over the fire. He came out to make sure the flames weren’t spreading.

“It’s just really sad to see something like this happen. I’m really glad they got everybody out,” he said.

The evacuated residents are now in the care of the Red Cross.  For those living inside the 21 occupied units of the building and the 2 homes next door, they are now being held at Trinity Church around the corner on 22nd and Spruce until they can find some place to go.

“We are trying to keep everybody warm. That’s one of the reasons we have a reception center. We have blankets, hot chocolate,” Loa Esquilin, of the Red Cross, told Eyewitness News.

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A senior Penn student who lived on the 4th floor watched the fire from a block away. She didn’t want to be on camera, but says has her laptop and cellphone. Everything else is gone.

Two buildings close by were also evacuated in case the fire spread.

Hundreds of residents watched from the street, unable to get home right away due to road closures.  Firefighters also had to deal with a partial collapse due to the intensity of the fire.

“The main thing is is that we didn’t have any exposure, so we didn’t lose any of the other properties,” Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said.

The American Red Cross says it’s assisting seven families with food, clothing and lodging.

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Everyone else was able to find a place to stay for night.