Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Fountain fire chief says apartment fire 'close call;' 3 rescued

April 9, 2014 Updated: April 9, 2014 at 8:20 am
0
photo - Three senior citizens are being treated for smoke inhalation after flames broke out at the Fountain View Apartments around 3 a.m, Wednesday. (Courtesy Fountain Fire Department)
Three senior citizens are being treated for smoke inhalation after flames broke out at the Fountain View Apartments around 3 a.m, Wednesday. (Courtesy Fountain Fire Department) 

Three people were displaced by a blaze that destroyed an entire apartment in Fountain early Wednesday morning and the fire chief said could have been deadly.

A 59-year-old woman called 911 when she saw flames and smoke coming from her mattress as she returned from the restroom around 2:50 a.m., according to the fire chief. The woman's entire bedroom was engulfed in flames by the time fire engines and emergency responders arrived, four minutes later.

"The fire station is two blocks away. If this fire had been on the other end of the city, we would've been recovering bodies," Anstine said. "Tonight was a really close call for these people."

The fire sparked from overstretched and exposed wires in an old heating pad on a mattress, said Fountain fire chief Darin Anstine.

"The chords were stretched very tightly around the mattress and at some point the wires arched back and sparked," Anstine said. "The fire started in the bed and spread to the whole bedroom within minutes."

Anstine said the fire sparked in a bedroom on the east end of the building on the 900 block of Grinde Drive, while the front door and staircase to access other units was on the west end of the structure. The flames traveled fast and filled the building with smoke, trapping two upstairs neighbors, Anstine said. Fire crews helped them out of the building unharmed.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries when a piece of ceiling sheet rock fell on him as he rescued the woman, whose apartment was destroyed by the blaze. Anstine said all three residents were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and released.

Both upstairs apartments were structurally sound, Anstine said, but had a lot of smoke and water damage.

The Red Cross was available on scene and helped find the displaced residents find alternate housing, Anstine said.

Chords and wires in electric heating pads or blankets should be loose, never stretched and should always be free of damage, the fire chief said.

"Mattresses can catch on fire real fast, from any spark," Anstine said. "Everyone has to be careful and replace any old or damaged electric heating pads or blankets."

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.