Chief 29 and the Truck were returning from a 26 Box on Addison Road South when communication stuck the box the Gateway Garden Apartments in the 4800 block of Saint Barnabas Road for a report apartment fire just before 18:30 p.m. While enroute, communication advised that they had reports of citizens jumping from balconies. Units arrived on the scene and reported heavy fire conditions on the top floor and roof area of a three-story garden style apartment. And started an aggressive attack from the interior, while making several attempts to extinguish the fire command asked for the second alarm which brought units from Forestville, Ritchie, and units from Alexandria Va. After crews attempted several times to make an attack on the fire from the interior but with the amount of fire load and as the ceilings started to collapse on the third floor the units were pulled out and the third alarm was sounded and ladder pipes were used to knock down the fire. Once an aggressive attack was made from the outside using ladder pipes and large hose lines, firefighters were able to re-enter the building to extinguish hot spots. It took the unit on the scene about 30 minutes to bring the fire under control and the cause is still under investigation.