By Howard Monroe

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Nearly two dozen people were displaced and nine homes were damaged after a Saturday afternoon fire in West Philadelphia. Officials say the blaze erupted around 12 p.m. on the 6100 block of Walnut Street.

“Your whole livelihood is gone,” said Nafiese Salaam, whose home was damaged. “I was raised in the house. I came back and took over the house, remodeled the house. And everything that my father, my mother and myself worked for is gone.”

Salaam says his entire life was turned upside down on Saturday as his house and eight of his neighbors’ homes were damaged by a fire. He says he was making breakfast when he smelled smoke.

“When I opened the door, I could see smoke and fire just coming down,” he said.

The fire started three houses down from Salaam’s and it quickly spread to neighboring rowhomes.

“All I know is me and my cousin were in the house,” said Rashon Mosley, who was displaced by the fire. “We were sleeping. I heard a loud noise banging on the door.”

That noise was firefighters telling Mosley, his grandmother and his cousin to get out of the house.

“All I hear is her screaming my name, ‘Rashon, Rashon, Rashon.’ I jumped out of bed, rushed downstairs,” Mosely said. “They pulled me out of the home.”

Fire officials say the fire was under control in about 30 minutes. Seven homes were impacted by the fire. Two others suffered water and other damage.

“All these homes, I grew up with all these people,” Mosley said. “They don’t have anywhere to go. They’re homeless. It’s so scary. I feel bad for everybody whose house was affected by this.”

No one was injured in the blaze.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the fire.