THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – Firefighters in Thornton believe an overnight fire at an apartment building that forced dozens of residents to evacuate was started by cigarettes.

The fire started at about 1:30 a.m. at the building at 9700 Welby Road, located near Colorado Boulevard and Thornton Parkway. Everyone got out safely.

A total of 44 people had to evacuate, and two people were treated on the scene by paramedics for smoke inhalation.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much damage was done to the building, but at least two units had significant fire and smoke damage.

Staff with the American Red Cross helped those who were displaced find warm places to stay.

The cold temperatures overnight made the battle against the fire a little tricky. It took about two hours to get it out.

“The weather was an issue. It is pretty cold tonight, so there’s a lot of ice and it was pretty slippery,” said Thornton fire spokesman Chad McCollum. “There was some fatigue (for the firefighters) working in the cold, so it was pretty hard on the guys tonight but they did a great job, as always.”

Fire investigators said cigarettes left smoldering in a plastic container on the deck ignited the fire.

Power and gas has been cut off to the building, so it could be a while before residents are allowed back in their homes.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)


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