By Matt Kroschel

BASALT, Colo. (CBS4)– Disaster recovery crews are trying to figure out what caused the flooding, resulting in extensive damage to an apartment complex, which forced residents to find other places to stay in a region where housing is tough to find.

Kevin Hyle had just walked out of the lobby when he heard a loud crash and then rushing water.

Hyle had narrowly missed being struck by tons of metal pipe that had fallen through the ceiling inside the newly constructed Roaring Fork Apartments on Emma Road in Basalt Tuesday evening.

“Someone people say it looks like a war zone in there, I thinks it’s more like a water park,” Hyle told CBS4 Wednesday as he was escorted back inside to grab important items from his fourth floor apartment.

basalt fire flood copy 77 People Forced Out Of Apartments After Flooding

(credit: Basalt Fire)

A total of 77 people have displaced and could be left living elsewhere for several weeks as investigators try to determine what caused the failure and flood. It could take weeks for the repairs to be completed.

On Wednesday, building owners told us they were working with residents to find short term housing. Many of them spent Tuesday night in local hotels. The Red Cross and other local business worked together to help secure housing.

“It’s incredible the response from this community,” said Shyanne Orvis, whose first floor apartment was flooded.

Residents say work was being done on the fire suppression system leading up to the failure and flood.

Matt Kroschel covers news throughout Colorado working from the CBS4 Mountain Newsroom. Send story ideas to mrkroschel@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter @Matt_Kroschel.

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