ROCKVILLE, Md. (DC News Now) — A community is in recovery after a devastating fire tore through a Rockville apartment building Monday.

Fire engulfed multiple units at the Plymouth Woods apartment complex, displacing over 25 families. Many who were displaced lost everything.

Community members told DC News Now this complex was very friendly and tight-knit. Now, it’s cold and dark while families try to pick up the pieces.

Former Plymouth Woods resident Leonard Perez had no idea that at 8:45 a.m. Monday, his world would be flipped upside down. All he could do was watch as his apartment building became engulfed in flames.

“We watched it burn, you know. There was nothing to be done,” said Perez.

Perez only bought his basement unit in March and was adjusting to his new community. His apartment was completely destroyed.

“I opened my sliding door and I smelled smoke. And then I noticed fire raining down from above and I grabbed my fire extinguisher and I put out the fire that was on the ground. And then I looked up and the whole third unit, the third level, one unit in the corner was totally ablaze,” Perez said.

While Perez has been displaced, he’s trying to keep his head up. He also highlighted that firefighters made an effort to save his guitars that were hanging on the wall of his basement unit, placing them under a tarp to prevent them from being damaged by water.

“My stuff didn’t get fire damaged and get touched by fire, but it’s drenched and in 1,000 million gallons of water they dumped, and so my place is just a swamp. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I really don’t but I’m trying to basically go this one day at a time and be patient and not get too stressed because right now, I’m in a place and I’m safe and nobody died,” Perez said.

Another neighbor, Samuel Martino, watched the fire from his balcony.

“It was just really scary because we didn’t know if there was going to catch the trees. How many buildings it was going to catch on to,” Martino said.

Martino just moved to the complex last year and described it as a very tight-knit, warm community. He was devastated by the thought that many families won’t return. He still held out hope that the apartments and the community can be restored.

“It’s so strange. … I love my balcony because… I was so immersed in my community back there. And it’s like, I don’t really want to be out there anymore because it’s empty,” Martino said. “24 families that didn’t have those apartments that aren’t, can’t live there for six months to a year, and I’m just really worried that they’re all going to end up just saying who cares and just move away. You know, that’s a lot of time to wait for a rental unit to come back, so I just hope we get everybody back here.”

The Rockville volunteer fire department checked in with neighbors to see how they are doing after the fire, but it was not clear on Tuesday when or if families will be able to return to this building.