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1 dead, multiple people injured in Arvada apartment fire

arvada fire dec 14 2022
Posted at 5:16 AM, Dec 14, 2022

ARVADA, Colo. — One person died and multiple people were injured following an apartment fire in Arvada early Wednesday morning.

The fire broke out around 12:16 a.m. at the Village West Apartments, which is located just east of the intersection of W. 58 Avenue and Ward Street, according Deanna Harrington, spokeswoman with the Arvada Fire Department.

When police arrived at the scene, they saw that a fire was burning on the first floor. An officer — the first to arrive at the scene — learned a person was still inside one of the first-floor apartments, which was engulfed in flames. The officer was not able to enter, the Arvada Police Department said.

When firefighters arrived, the officer told them of the situation and they all began to evacuate the building.

Firefighters were able to rescue people from balconies and fully evacuate the building, Harrington said. Multiple people were transported to local hospitals, the fire department said.

The department spokesperson confirmed that one person died. Several pets also died, the spokesperson said.

Jorge Martinez, a tenant, recalled the moment he realized an emergency was unfolding. 

"I heard people screaming and yelling, and then I came out to my balcony to see what happened because I live on the first floor -- the building is on fire," he said. 

"I didn't realize how bad it was until we had opened our door and that's when the smoke started rolling into our apartment, " Martinez said. 

The Arvada Police Department tweeted at 1:35 a.m. Wednesday that its officers had responded to the scene of the fire as well. An officer and a sergeant were treated for smoke inhalation as they helped with evacuation efforts, the department said. Both were released from the hospital a few hours later.

Body camera video released by Arvada PD Wednesday afternoon shows officers frantically knocking on doors and running alongside residents through developing plumes of smoke. 

One whole wing of the building was displaced, Harrington said. The Red Cross is assisting those impacted residents.

A Red Cross spokesperson said as of Wednesday evening, residents from at least 30 units had received some form of assistance. 

To verified GoFundMes are supporting those impacted.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. As of Wednesday evening, the Arvada Fire Department said no additional details could be provided at this time.