ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – A body has been found in the rubble of a building that was destroyed by fire in Arvada.
The fire gutted the building that housed Creative Treatment Options on Saturday morning near 64th Avenue and Wadsworth Boulevard. On Monday firefighters brought in some heavy equipment to help with the search for John Rutter, a counselor who’s been missing since the fire erupted and is currently unaccounted for.
A body was found in the rubble Monday afternoon but police haven’t said if the body is that of Rutter’s. The identity will come from the coroner’s office.
CBS4’s Howard Nathan was told over the weekend there were a few dozen people inside the building at Creative Treatment Options when the fire started. They were in between meetings and lots of people were coming and going. The building immediately lost power and smoke and flames overtook the rooms and hallways.
Connie Orr, one of Rutter’s clients, was holding out hope that he will be found alive.
“Oh he’s was … is a, is a terrific guy,” said Orr. “He just makes you feel better about yourself.”
Dr. Joyce Smith, the director of Creative Treatment Options and Rutter’s boss, told CBS4 on Sunday she wasn’t confident Rutter survived the fire. Smith said Rutter was “beloved by everybody.”
It’s been a very difficult three days for those who were inside when the fire erupted. CBS4’s Jeff Todd on Monday talked to some people who were inside the building at the time.
“By the time we got out it was black in the hallway,” said Tammis Jahn, Creative Treatment Options Office Manager. “You couldn’t see, you couldn’t breathe, and as we were going down the flames were coming up, so it happened within seconds.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“We got out and just a few moments later the door got sucked back in, and seconds later the whole entire building was up in flames,” Jahn said. “It was scary, definitely scary.”
Jahn says she and another counselor were the last ones out of the building and they never saw their coworker, Rutter.
“One of the best, best guys I know,” she said.
All day Monday many of the clients came back to the building that housed Creative Treatment Options shocked and saddened.
“Everything is so chaotic … there’s a lot we don’t know, there are a lot of questions that are unanswered, and I’m assuming that they will be for quite a while right now,” Jahn said.
Late Monday afternoon tarps were up in front of the office building and firefighters carried a stretcher into the building once deemed too dangerous.
“We know that this is someone’s loved one. It’s never the outcome that we want, but we know that we have a job to do and we want to find the cause of this, and we want to investigate it fully,” Jill McGranahan with Arvada Police said.
Additional Information From Creative Treatment Options
Due to the fire Creative Treatment Options has had to relocate meetings. View a schedule of the meetings and where they will now take place.