LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — At least two people have died and 10 others were injured after a fire broke out at the Tiffany Square Apartments in Lakewood.
According to the West Metro Fire Rescue, crews were on scene of a large apartment fire at the Tiffany Square Apartments. The building is located at 935 Sheridan Blvd. which is south of Sloan’s Lake Park.
WMFR confirmed that all residents from 32 units were evacuated and displaced.
During the investigation, the Lakewood Police Department said two people were found dead inside one of the apartments.
“We just got a phone call that our niece and our great niece were in this fire and that they didn’t survive,” the victims’ aunt, Rochelle Valdez, said. “I’m just hoping that they didn’t suffer.”
Family members holding onto each other in disbelief at the scene told FOX31 their loved ones didn’t make it. They identified the two victims as their 31-year-old niece Kathleen “Katie” Payton and 10-year-old great niece Jazmine Aguayo.
“Jazzy just turned 10 years old two months ago, and Katie, that was her pride and joy,” the victims’ aunt, Janelle Camacho, said. “They were always together. I’m just heartbroken.”
Family members heard their loved ones got trapped in the bathroom when the fire broke out. Police told them and confirmed to FOX31 that the investigation is currently classified as a criminal investigation.
“If they are treating it as a criminal investigation, it just makes you wonder what really happened,” Camacho said. “I think the hardest thing for me to fathom is what they went through. If they were alive and being stuck and trapped in there, not being able to get out, it’s just devastating and I’m just hoping that they didn’t suffer.”
LPD said 10 people were injured in the fire. Seven of those people were treated and released, including a firefighter who was treated for smoke inhalation.
WMFR said a family of three was injured and taken to the hospital. The mother and child jumped from the second floor to escape the flames, and the father walked down the stairs.
Photos from the scene show massive flames covering the apartment complex and the aftermath of the charred building.
WMFR said all residents will be displaced and that the Red Cross is assisting them in finding shelter. The Red Cross opened an evacuation shelter at 7815 West 16th Ave. in Lakewood for all those impacted. Volunteers are standing by to help begin the recovery process.
WMFR does not know what caused the fire and said it is still too dangerous to go into all of the units and begin its investigations.
FOX31’s Nicole Fierro contributed to this report.