WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Westminster want to talk to four people, believed to be juveniles, in connection with a deadly apartment fire early Sunday morning. Witnesses tell investigators they grabbed fire extinguishers to try to put out the fire but officers don’t believe they are responsible for starting the fire.
The Westbury Apartment Complex with 69 units in Westminster caught fire just after 2 a.m. Sunday.
Residents of the burning building scrambled to get out, some even jumped from second and third story windows to escape. Neighbors from adjacent building rushed to help.
Ten people were taken to the hospital and two people died; one at the hospital and a second was found inside.
One resident said her mother was rushed to the hospital, after a neighbor dragged her out of her apartment. Ashley Bering said her mother is a double amputee, and was rescued by a fellow complex resident.
“One of the neighbors actually helped get her out,” Bering told CBS4. “She tried to tell people there was a dog inside.”
Left inside the apartment as the building burned was “Kush,” a therapy dog.
“It wasn’t until seven hours later, that the focus was no longer on my mother, but it was on the animals,” Bering said.
Using dog treats as bait, firefighters went through the building in search of the animals.
Kush was found sitting on the bed inside the apartment, still with his medical cone on from a previous veterinarian visit.
“He was just sitting there waiting, wagging his tail,” Bering said. “He did try to bite a few firemen. But, that means he was feeling better.”
With her mother recovering in the hospital, Bering said Kush’s survival will serve as a token of encouragement to hurry back home.
“My mom would have been shattered. This dog is everything to her. Not only her service dog, but her best friend,” Bering said.
Residents from all but one apartment had been accounted for.
A specialized fire investigation team from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) joined the investigation on Monday.
Residents who still need help can call the American Red Cross at 1-800-417-0495.
Any witnesses to the fire who may have left the scene are asked to contact Westminster Police Detective Gordanier 303.658.4264.
LINK: Davis Family GoFundMe
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.