Two-Alarm Colo. Fire Apartment Fire Displaces 55


At least 55 people were displaced by a two-alarm fire that ravaged an apartment building in Arapahoe County Sunday afternoon.

No one was injured by the fire that started about 3:30 p.m. at the Churchill Downs Apartments at 8400 E. Yale Ave., said Kevin Ferry, spokesman for Cunningham Fire Rescue.

Kerry said the blaze in Building 6 appeared to have started on a balcony, spread up the outside of the building and then into the attic. Soon, the roof was burning.

About 24 units suffered fire or smoke damage, Kerry said.

7NEWS Reporter Jaclyn Allen learned the same building suffered a similar fire 11 years ago, when boys playing with bottle rockets ignited a balcony.

Fire marshals said the building does have working sprinklers, but they're not required on balconies or attics where both fires spread like lightning, Allen reported.

"It's horrible," a young woman resident told 7NEWS. "I don't even know how it started."

Firefighters using an aerial ladder eventually doused the flames, he said. Fire crews were mopping up hot spots by 5:30 p.m.

"Everything's demolished," said Headley Taylor as he held his granddaughter. He was living in the destroyed building with his daughter and granddaughter and planned to stay with relatives.

"It's not a problem with where we're going to stay. It's getting back to where we were. That's the problem, he said.

The Red Cross set up a temporary shelter at Church of the Risen Christ, 3060 S. Monaco.

Emotions were running high at the fire scene.

Arapahoe County sheriff's deputies called for backup after two men crossed a taped off area and caused a disturbance.

The men were arrested for crossing police lines, disorderly conduct and assault, deputies said.

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