Woman helps save baby from burning apartment

Posted at 10:42 PM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 00:42:42-04

A mother's instinct kicked in when she heard screams saying, "Save my baby."

Reyna Rodriguez stopped at 7-Eleven on her way home from Easter dinner.

The gas station is next to an apartment building that was on fire.

Residents jumped from third-story windows to escape the two-alarm apartment fire at 2625 Federal Boulevard which started Sunday around 9:15 p.m.

“I heard screaming and yelling from a gentleman and lady holding their baby out the window," said Rodriguez. "Ladies threw blankets out the windows and pillows so I grabbed them and another gentleman helped me hold the blanket while they threw the baby.” 

According to the Denver Fire Department, at least 20 families are displaced.

Fire officials still don't know how the fire started. Investigators are working to determine a cause and a spokesperson for Denver Fire says that could mean sending material into the lab for processing.

Scanner traffic indicates several people jumped to escape the burning building. "We have a report of parties jumping out of an apartment building that is currently on fire,” a person stated on the scanner. Minutes later someone can also be heard saying, "They heard fighting, this is a building on fire."

Some residents reported hearing arguing just before the fire broke out but a department spokesperson could not say if that is true.

"I've heard a few different things it potentially could be drug-related, it could be domestic dispute I'm not exactly sure though," said Megan Murray, a resident who returned Monday to survey the damage.

There's no word on when people might be able to get back in the 24 unit apartment building. On Tuesday evening, a man put yellow caution tape up around the back and front doors.

The American Red Cross Mile High Chapter is assisting 18 fire victims and expects to help even more. Disaster volunteers responded to the scene and stayed until 3 a.m. to help coordinate services. 

"There’s a lot of concerns about what they’re going to do, how are you going to replace furniture, where are you going to stay until they let you back in to the apartment," said Jessica Pate, Disaster Program Specialist with the Red Cross.

Pate says the best way to help those effected by the fire is to donate gift cards to the American Red Cross. The Denver office is located at 444 Sherman Street. Unfortunately, the organization cannot accept any donations of food or clothing. Anyone with questions, or wanting to make a donation can call  (303) 722-7474.

The company that owns the building, Brothers Redevelopment, released the following statement:

"The incident remains under investigation. Brothers Redevelopment is still assessing the physical condition of the property and the extent of the damage. As I mentioned, we continue to work with the American Red Cross and other service and housing providers to help displaced tenants."