WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– People affected by the devastating and deadly fire at Westbury Apartments last month can apply for low-interest disaster loans through the Small Business Administration.

The Westbury Apartment Complex with 69 units located at 1585 West 115th Avenue in Westminster caught fire just after 2 a.m. July 22.

(credit: CBS)

Lea Hamel, 41, from Venice, Florida and Margaret Kelly, 58, of Westminster died due to “fire related injuries.” Fourteen other people were hurt, some of them critically.

SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request that SBA received from Gov. John Hickenlooper on Aug. 7.

(credit: CBS)

“Our job and our mission is to revitalize, rehab, help people recover from a horrific fire,” said Susheel Kumar, public information officer for the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.  

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Denver, Jefferson, Morgan, Washington and Weld counties. Disaster loans up to $40,000 are available to homeowners and renters to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

“Depending on the scope of damages,” said Kumar. “The SBA is a valuable component in the overall recovery of the community, it makes a difference.” 

The agency has deployed teams to disasters that include tornadoes in Louisiana, Hurricane Harvey in Houston, and the 2013 floods in Colorado. 

“SBA is strongly committed to providing Colorado with the most effective and customer-focused response possible, and we will be there to provide access to federal disaster loans to help finance recovery for businesses and residents affected by the disaster,” said Administrator Linda McMahon of the U.S. Small Business Administration in a statement. “Getting our businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”

(credit: CBS)

 The team deployed to Westminster will remain in town for two weeks but anyone affected has 60 days from the date of declaration to submit an application. The deadline for this disaster will be Oct. 9. 

Additional Information from the SBA:

Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 14, SBA representatives will be on hand at the following Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about SBA’s disaster loan program, explain the application process and help each individual complete their application

The center will be open on the days and times indicated below. No appointment is necessary.

Disaster Loan Outreach Center
Mature Adult Center
3295 W. 72nd Ave.
Westminster, CO 80030
Opens 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14
Mondays – Thursdays, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Fridays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Closes 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.


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