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Ivy Crossing apartment complex fire was human-caused, 'incendiary in nature,' firefighters say

An incendiary fire is one set intentionally, but not maliciously. One person was killed and several more were hurt in the April 8 fire at Ivy Crossing.
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Posted at 11:39 AM, Apr 12, 2023

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A fire that killed one person and injured five others at an Arapahoe County apartment complex last weekend was human-caused and “incendiary in nature,” according to South Metro Fire Rescue.

An incendiary fire is one “intentionally ignited in an area or under circumstances where and when there should not be a fire,” the National Wildfire Coordinating Group says. It’s different from arson, which includes “malicious and willful” burning, according to the agency.

In a statement Thursday, however, FCP — the owners of the Ivy Crossing Apartments — said they were cooperating fully in support "of the arson investigation." It's unclear if FCP has received updated information from the fire department at this point regarding the fire department's investigation into the cause of the deadly blaze. Their full statement is below.

FCP®, with its partner BMC, are devastated by the loss of life and injuries sustained as a result of the Ivy Crossing Apartment fire early Saturday morning, including those sustained by South Metro Fire, which continually serves and protects our community.

We are cooperating fully in support of the arson investigation, including the warrant issued to investigate the South Metro Fire Rescue’s and Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office’s conclusion that the fire was human-caused and incendiary in nature.

It is our priority to work to protect the health, safety, and well- being of our residents, as it has been and will continue to be. Our on-site property management team has been working diligently to ensure safety standards are met for each building.

We care deeply for our residents and have found housing for the displaced households on site and are providing support services to those affected as well.

Because there is a continuing and active investigation underway, it is FCP’s policy not to comment further.

The fire broke out in the early-morning hours of April 8 at the Ivy Crossing Apartment Homes on Quebec Street in unincorporated Arapahoe County. Some residents jumped from the upper floors of the complex to safety as flames consumed the building.

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Two months before the deadly fire on April 8, fire inspectors found multiple fire code violations at Ivy Crossing Apartments, according to a fire inspection report obtained by Denver7 Sunday.

During the Feb. 9, 2023 inspection, officials found that some buildings on the property, located at 2470 South Quebec Street, lacked manual fire alarms and working fire extinguishers, including inside building No. 2380, where the fire broke out.

Multiple violations found months before fatal fire at Arapahoe County apartment complex

The report pointed out that manual fire alarms were not present in any of the buildings aside from the townhomes, which is required for residential buildings more than three stories in height or with more than 16 units—both of which the property meets or exceeds.

Inspectors also found the complex had fire doors that did not latch securely, “excessive combustible storage” and unverifiable boiler inspection forms. Additionally, inspectors noted other problems, including exposed electrical wires next to detached fire alarms and several residents with “20 pound propane tanks on un-sprinklered balconies.”

It’s unclear from the report if the property came into compliance after February’s inspection. Some of the remedies had a three-week timeline to complete.

The fire was the second in 13 months at Ivy Crossing. South Metro Fire Rescue said Wednesday that a fire that burned at the complex in March of 2022 was human-caused and incendiary.

At the time, SMFR labeled that blaze a “suspected arson fire” as it asked for the public’s help in the investigation.

The agency said Wednesday that it didn’t know if the March 2022 fire and the most recent fire are related.

Anyone with information related to how these fires started is asked to call 1-877-892-7766. Callers can remain anonymous and are eligible to receive up to a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification of person(s) responsible for either fire.