By Dillon Thomas
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Several families in Aurora have been forced out of their homes after a Saturday afternoon fire charred several floors of an apartment complex.
Aurora Fire Department spokesperson Lt. Tony Krenz told CBS4 the fire started just after 1 p.m., possibly originating on the first floor of the apartment near Chambers Road and Exposition Avenue.
Forty firefighters responded to the blaze with the assistance of three ambulances.
Five people were transported to the hospital. One of the victims of the fire was a child. Resident Nya Sanford told CBS4 she was in the shower when her boyfriend noticed the fire.
“My boyfriend busted through the door, and said, ‘You need to get out. There is a fire outside. I do not know where it is, but we need to get out,’” Sanford said.
Sanford said she grabbed a towel and was able to get out of the apartment. However, when she attempted to exit the complex, she was met with a wall of smoke.
“I opened the door and it was just black,” Sanford said.
Although the cause of the fire has not been determined, firefighters said the blaze was spreading quickly when they arrived.
“It was a fully involved first-story apartment spreading to the second and third apartments,” Krenz said.
Sanford said the smoke was so heavy she wasn’t able to see her way out.
“I found the nearest railing, and went out that way,” Sanford said.
Firefighters said they were teaming up with the American Red Cross to help displaced residents amid the fire.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.