Colorado Firefighters Respond to 3-Alarmer

An estimated one million dollars in damage was caused to an apartment building under construction by a 3-alarm fire in unincorporated Arapahoe County on Jan. 13.

People driving by reported the fire at shortly after five o'clock at the Ballantyne Apartment complex, a nine-building complex under construction at 10001 East Dry Creek Road, just east of I-25. The damage was contained to building six, a 32-unit building. A crew of six dry-wallers had been working on the third and second floors of the structure.

They all got out safely. The work crew was using portable propane heaters on the third floor. While it is not known if those heaters played any role in causing the fire, the propane did fuel the fire and contributed to its intensity. The building was still approximately two months away from being occupied.

Two dozen units and approximately 50 firefighters from South Metro Fire Rescue and the Parker Fire District responded. After confirming that no one was in the building firefighters went into a "defensive attack", using four aerial ladder trucks to dump massive amounts of water on the fire from above. It was about three hours before the fire was declared under control though two of those aerials will remain on scene overnight to monitor the situation. Denver Water and the Inverness Water District both assisted by boosting water pressure to the hydrants in the area.

Investigators interviewed witnesses tonight and will begin the physical portion of the investigation tomorrow. Parts of the structure may have to be shored up before investigators can safely do their work. The local office of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms has been asked to help with the investigation by contributing some additional resources.

No firefighters or civilians were injured during the fire. A portion of Dry Creek Road was closed for several hours but has reopened.