BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport officials say eight people are homeless after a fire destroyed much of their three-family house on Capital Avenue, earlier this afternoon.

Authorities say the fire started at around 1 p.m. When they arrived on the scene, flames were shooting 25 feet in the air.

Witnesses say they could see the heavy smoke from miles away. Tony Purcell says he happened to be driving by when he saw flames shooting out of the top part of his house. Once Purcell saw the fire, he dialed 911.

Fire officials say their arson team is investigating the cause of the fire. The Red Cross says it's working with the families that were affected to ensure that everyone has a place to stay.