They attempted to extinguish the flames with a garden hose before escaping the house and calling E-911.
Fifty-four people who used to live in Crown Pointe Apartment Homes, on the 200 block of Powell Mill Road, are spending Christmas in shelters.
No one was home when the fire began and no injuries were reported, but the family that lives there will be displaced because of the damage, fire officials said.
One person was taken to Roseland Community Hospital in good condition, the spokesman said.
Elderly couple says 60 pounds of pot was intended for Christmas gifts
Authorities reportedly saw the Toyota Tacoma's driver fail to signal and noticed the truck drift over the center line of the road. York County sheriff's deputies said they found 60 pounds of marijuana inside the Jirons' vehicle.
As firefighters arrived on the scene, they found a garage fire connected to an apartment building. "It's just such damage, destruction that these people are not going to have a normal Christmas", Hall said.
The Nebraska Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire.
The fire adds another red bulb to the department's wreath on the front of the fire station. The fire spread from the first auto to the second, and then into the house. The three families were given vouchers for housing in hotels, Holmes said, but he was not certain whether they needed additional clothing.