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Second apartment fire in three months at Denver-area complex sparks concern among tenants

Fires started on 3rd floors of 2 buildings and displaced 72
Posted at 11:55 PM, Mar 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 19:25:31-04

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. -- Residents at a Denver-area apartment complex are worried about their safety after two major fires happened in three months.

In December, a blaze left a building at the Covington on Cherry Creek Apartments a total loss. Friday, a fire in an adjacent building caused heavy damage. Both fires started on the third floors of the two buildings and displaced a total of 72 tenants.

"It was scary because we are thinking the fire could come to another building here,” said Covington resident Diana Rodgers, who has lived at the complex for 20 years and said there has never been a fire until now.

Management told residents the fire in December was caused by a barbeque grill. But Denver7 contacted the fire marshal, who said the cause of the December fire is undetermined.

The conflicting information has led to distrust.

"Nobody knew anything,” said Rodgers. “All we are hearing is just there is a fire on the third floor from the attic, but what is causing all these fires that are in the attic?"

Many Covington residents took to social media to express their frustrations. On a Reddit thread, one tenant said they wanted out of their lease after the first fire.

“They did give us a hard time after the first fire. My wife said she feared for her safety and wanted to move. They had no sympathy. I told my wife that there’s no chance another fire would happen, ‘we’ll be completely safe’... looks like I was wrong,” the resident commented.

Covington management said they could not share many details as to causes of the fires because of an ongoing investigation. But in a statement to Denver7, the property manager said based on the fire department’s investigation, the two fires at the apartment complex were not connected, “nor were either of the fires the result of an issue with an apartment or the building.”

“Since the fire in December, we’ve been working with residents on compliance with our policies surrounding fire safety in our community, as well as moving towards becoming a completely smoke-free environment,” the statement read.

Covington management said they would be releasing additional details to residents Wednesday.