Packing up any salvageable belongings in the bitter cold, all living in the 3000 unit of the Pauni Apartments found out over the weekend it's no longer safe to live in their apartment building.

"I'm fortunate where I had a place where I could stay and go immediately," Jeffery Zelinsky said, a tenant who is now displaced.

A fire on Friday morning forced everyone inside the 3000 building units to evacuate. The fire chief says it's believed the blaze started in or near a first-floor kitchen.

Zelinsky says he feels rushed to make quick decisions after he and another neighbor were told over the weekend they had to be out by Monday evening.

"Given two days to move your entire apartment and find somewhere to store it and haul it, I think it's just totally unreasonable," he said.

Another neighbor says he's receiving help from the Red Cross.

"We got help, and then we're just struggling as fast as we could to get everything out," William McElfresh said.

Cortland's fire chief says it is a tight deadline, so he reached out to the property manager to ensure the Red Cross was called in to help.

Property Manager Kelly Mantalis tells 21 News that she hired a crew to help move everyone out and offered to arrange for any storage units.

She says the units are deemed uninhabitable and suffered significant damage, so tenants had to be let into the building by others to ensure their safety.

The Red Cross says it is helping families from the building with their immediate needs.