The CARE Housing apartment complex in west Fort Collins, Colo., burns early Sunday, July 31, 2005. The fire claimed the lives of a woman and a young child. Ten fire departments responded to the fire and it took about an hour to bring it under control. An investigation into the cause of the fire was expected to take several days, officials said.
Photo credit: AP Photo/The Rocky Mountain Collegian, JP Eichmiller
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- A woman and child died in a fire at an apartment building early Sunday after they were trapped in their second-floor unit.
After the fire broke out just before 5 a.m., the woman had been seen on her second-floor balcony screaming ''My baby's inside'' before returning inside. The stairs to her apartment were engulfed in flames.
At least three people jumped from the second floor to safety as deep black smoke poured from the building's windows.
Firefighters trying to rescue the trapped woman and child first tried to enter through a bedroom window in the apartment but had to turn back because of extreme fire conditions and smoke, Jason Mantas of the Poudre Fire Authority said. The firefighters then entered the apartment through another window but they were already dead, he said.
The woman and child are believed to be related but authorities didn't immediately identify them. Residents said the woman was in her 20s and that she had an infant daughter.
Four people were treated and released from a hospital but a fifth remained hospitalized.
Drew Watson, who lives in a ground-floor apartment, said he grabbed his girlfriend and her two children after his living room ceiling collapsed in flames. They were able to crawl out of a bedroom window.
Ten fire departments responded to the fire and it took about an hour to bring it under control. An investigation into the cause of the fire was expected to take several days.
Some residents said they heard a car alarm sounding followed by several explosions. They said the fire had reached paint cans and a propane tank at the building.