BROOKLYN - An early morning fire erupted in an apartment building on Willoughby Avenue Monday, forcing 12 residents to evacuate.

The fire started in an empty apartment at 540 Willoughby Ave. at around 4:30 a.m. Neighbors say they were shaken out of their beds by what seemed like explosions. The fire ripped through the walls on both sides of the empty apartment.

Firefighters say the blaze moved quickly through the apartment, in which neighbors say someone was living as recently as last week. The apartment was up for sale before it was destroyed by the fire.

Around daylight, about a dozen people were allowed back into their apartments to collect what was left of their possessions. The Red Cross says it is reviewing emergency housing plans with 11 adults and one child.

Fire officials say two firefighters suffered injuries while putting out the blaze.