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Sheriff: Centennial Fire That Injured 8 Was Arson

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CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4/AP) — Investigators say a fire that injured eight people, one critically, in a Centennial apartment complex was arson.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday it was still investigating the fire at the Copper Terrace Apartments located on South Dayton Street. Investigators want witnesses with photos or video to come forward.

Eight people were initially hospitalized after the fire early Monday, but some have been released. At least some of them were injured while trying to escape the burning three-story building. Some neighbors threw a rope made out of sheets up to one family and held on as members slid down onto a mattress in the back of a pickup truck.

Lenise Ruff jumped from her third-story window.

“My fiancé and her roommate almost lost their lives,” Ruff’s fiancé Sam Brown said.

On Tuesday Ruff and Brown learned that the blaze was intentionally set.

“I’m asking why, why would they do that and endanger as many people as they did,” Ruff said.

“People don’t do these things because they’re okay, they do it when they’re not okay, so there’s obviously hurt in there somewhere and that breaks my heart,” Brown said.

It wasn’t the first arson at an apartment in Arapahoe County. There were three arson fires at the Woodhaven Apartments in just a 4-month period last year. Residents of both places are now wondering if there’s a link.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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