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Residents displaced by Club Valencia fire frustrated with property management

Two fires in three months have displaced nearly half of the entire condominium complex.
Club Valencia fire 2-1-23
Posted at 8:01 PM, Feb 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-02 22:01:30-05

DENVER — Two fires in three months displaced nearly half of the entire Club Valencia condominium complex off South Parker Road in unincorporated Arapahoe County.

"They condemned our half of the building," said Gabby Newton-Bustamante, a homeowner at the complex.

Newtown-Bustamante is now looking for another place to stay after an accidental cooking fire displaced dozens of residents Wednesday morning, making 86 units uninhabitable.

"It's really a s*** show around here," Newtown-Bustamante said.

This isn't the first time Newtown-Bustamante has experienced a fire at the complex. She was also impacted by a fire in November when inspectors deemed more than 80 units uninhabitable.

"The last fire, I had to get my door fixed... the new door they installed wasn't the right size. So there was a gap, and roaches were coming into my unit. This place has a roach problem," she said. "Now I just don't have anywhere to live."

In 2017, a mother and her two small children were injured in a fire at the complex that also injured two sheriff's deputies, Denver7 reported. It was during this incident that Denver7 learned the complex does not have fire sprinklers because the building only needs to abide by the fire codes that were in place when it was constructed decades ago.

While the building is not required to install a fire sprinkler system, South Metro Fire Rescue Fire Marshal Anthony Valdez says they will suggest that property management install a sprinkler system, considering two fires have displaced nearly half of their residents in just three months.

"That is a plan that we have is to see if we can have those conversations with the appropriate stakeholders to see if this is a good time for them to explore that," Valdez told Denver7 Thursday.

In the meantime, Newton-Bustamante says she has bigger questions for LCM Property Management, Inc, the company that manages Club Valencia.

"What are we doing to fix this as fast as we can? How are we protecting residents? And what are HOAs fees going to?" Newton-Bustamante said. "I pay 350 dollars a month just about. I, yes, definitely expect it to go to safety and security."

On Thursday, Denver7 reached out to Bob Weiss, owner of LCM Property management, Inc., after a colleague indicated he was the only person who can answer media questions.

When Denver7 called Weiss for a statement Thursday, he said, "I really don't have time to talk about it. I'm busy with the fire right now, taking care of what I got to do. So thank you very much." He then hung up without taking any questions. Weiss hung up on Denver7 the day prior as well.

Denver7 offered Derek Fenton, a LCM Property Management staff member, an opportunity Wednesday to address residents' concerns.

Instead, Fenton shouted at Denver7, screaming, "You're hurting people's ability to get back into their units."

Fenton then took hold of a Denver7 microphone, walked up to the news camera and said in part, "So right now, the news teams are here. We've been trying to coordinate with everyone. They're interfering."

In the meantime, several residents tell Denver7 they are still trying to find housing while also getting their questions answered by management.

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