Six people were taken to the hospital, with one flown to Denver in critical condition, following a fire Wednesday at the Wind River Place Apartments at 923 N. 19th St., Lt. Brian Ebmeyer with the Colorado Springs Fire Department said. 

Around 4 p.m. fire crews responded to the the blaze. Smoke could be seen from the third floor of a building, CSFD officials said in a tweet. According to Ebmeyer, fire crews quickly sounded a second alarm to get more units to help battle the blaze.

Officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department also rushed into the burning building in order to warn and rescue residents. All residents of the apartment building affected have been evacuated and displaced. Police are working with the Pikes Peak Regional Office of Emergency Management and the Red Cross to find temporary shelters. 

It took fire crews about 20 minutes to get the blaze under control, Ebmeyer said. 

Ebmeyer said two people jumped from third-floor windows and both were taken to the hospital. The injured person in critical condition suffered serious burns. In addition to the six injured, Ebmeyer said four police officers were evaluated for smoke inhalation but none were taken to the hospital.  

Fire crews also rescued people from windows on the third floor as well as a few cats.

Apartment fire two

Crews with the Colorado Springs Fire Department are responding to a working fire Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, at the Wind River Place Apartments at 923 N. 19th St. 

According to Ebmeyer, the protocol for those trapped on the upper levels of a burning building is to close the door adjacent to the fire, open a window and inform fire fighters of their presence. The fire department does not recommend people jump from a window.  

Due to the extent of the injuries, Colorado Springs police are investigating the incident to see if anything criminal took place, said Gold Hill Subdivision Commander John Koch. As of Wednesday, neither the fire nor police departments know what started the fire. 

Victim in Colorado Springs fire, homicide investigation identified

Zoi Ouellette, who said he lives on the third floor of the apartment, said he saw smoke billowing from his neighbor’s apartment. 

Ouellette said he and other neighbors helped other residents escape through a window.

Ouellette was worried about his dog, but said the canine was OK.

“It sucks to lose property but at the end of the day property can be replaced,” he said

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