Fire damages apartment complex near Motor City; cause not yet determined

By: lisa walton
January 21, 2014 Updated: January 21, 2014 at 8:24 pm
Caption +
A Colorado Springs firefighter looks out of a third story window of the Cheyenne Vista Apartments as crews work to extinguish a two-alarm fire at the complex Tuesday, January 21, 2014. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

A fire near Motor City damaged at least three apartments and left about a dozen people without a place to stay Tuesday night.

School kids and uniformed soldiers came home to a street full of fire trucks just before 3 p.m. Tuesday, as more than 50 firefighters in 12 emergency vehicles battled a two-alarm fire at the Cheyenne Vista apartments at the 300 block of Crestone Lane.

Firefighters had to break through walls to get to the fire, which caused extensive damage on two floors. They were able to get the fire under control within an hour of finding heavy smoke and fire erupting from a building at 360 Crestone Lane.

Lt. Kriss Soppe with the Colorado Springs fire department, said there were no reported injuries to people, animals or firefighters.

People and pets in about 20 units were evacuated and were not expected to be allowed to return to their homes until at least 8 p.m. Tuesday, said Pikes Peak Red Cross spokesperson Bill Fortune.

Volunteers were working to help about a dozen people from six affected units find a place to stay for the night. Those who would not be able to return to their homes for several hours were provided pizza while firefighters completed the investigation and finished air quality checks.

Elizabeth Rodriguez lives underneath the second floor apartment where the fire is believed to have started. She'd stepped out for lunch and came home to flames Tuesday. Rodriguez, her 10-year-old daughter and her son, a Fort Carson solider, moved to the apartment complex in November. The property manager told her that her apartment was one of those affected. "We don't have nothing," Rodriguez said tearfully, her small white dog in one arm.

Rodriguez, who moved from Florida to be with her son, works from home on her computer and was not sure what was left of her home Tuesday evening. Firefighters said a cause for the fire has not yet to be determined.

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