LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4) – One person was hospitalized after a fire completely destroyed part of an apartment complex in Littleton on Saturday.
West Metro Fire officials said the fire started at the Dakota Ridge apartment complex after a man threw a match in a cardboard box on his balcony. The man was just was moving in and went in to take a nap. He was asleep and saved by good Samaritans who broke down his door before the flames got out of control.READ MORE: Englewood Police: Officer-Involved Shooting Takes Place Outside Apartment Complex
“What’s going on right now, what you see right now is devastating. It’s the whole top of the roof is exposed to the sky right now and it’s incredible damage,” resident Suzanne Milligan said.
It took about 50 firefighters nearly two hours to put the fire out. The fire was adjacent to Milligan’s unit and her dog helped save her.
“Dexter never barks and he started barking and he knew the fire was going on and I was sound asleep I didn’t know it was going on,” Milligan said.
Sheriff’s deputies evacuated the building.
“Just happy everyone got out safely and this is the results of it,” Milligan said.
“We believe it started in one apartment, got up in to the attic and then spread from there,” Ronda Scholting with West Metro Fire said. “Because it got up into the attic it made the building structurally unsound.”READ MORE: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
At one point firefighters stopped putting water on the flames and they kicked back up.
“The top of the roof collapsed and at that point the fire started blazing even more and they got some pretty strong PSI on the building,” Milligan said.
The two destroyed units are north of the fire’s origin, but because the structure is unsound firefighters were cautious.
“We have to get an investigator in there to see what started the fire,” Scholting said.
“People’s whole lives are in these apartments, and not knowing what’s going on or what kind of damage there is,” Milligan said. “The firefighters have done a great job and very diligent and thank God for them.”
Arson has been ruled out and the fire is being called accidental.
There’s about eight total units effected and the Red Cross is helping out.MORE NEWS: Change To Level Clear Is 'Exciting For Everybody' At Denver Museum Of Nature And Science
It’s not clear if the man will face any charges for starting the fire.