JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — One firefighter was injured and several people had to be rescued from their apartments during a fire in suburban Jefferson County Saturday morning. A man has been arrested on suspicion of starting the blaze.
S REED ST UPDATE: SMFR & @WestMetroFire are on scene. Firefighters have rescued multiple people trapped in their units by fire. They are using ladders to windows on the outside of the structure to continue searching inside. One firefighter is being treated for an injury. pic.twitter.com/g11Q1WfAKc
— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) December 21, 2019
The fire started just after 1 a.m. Saturday in the 8400 block of South Reed Street.
According to South Metro Fire Rescue, a resident heard screaming, then a loud bang on her door and someone yelling “Fire!”
“We were sleeping and I heard some screaming,” neighbor Kit Long said. “I saw flames and I heard three ladies saying, ‘Help me, help me, help me.’ I ran down and I went to the building and three of the ladies jumped into my arms.”
Neighbors say nearby homeowners tossed ladders over the a fence to aid rescue efforts. The fire spread to several cars parked near the building.
Fire crews battled the blaze for at least 45 minutes, according to neighbors.
Firefighters say the stairwell of the building was heavily damaged. Several units are damaged as well.
The injured firefighter was transported with a minor injury.
Nine residents were evaluated for smoke inhalation and two residents were taken to a local hospital for minor injuries.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office says the fire is believed to have been intentionally set. A man has been arrested and is facing multiple attempted first-degree murder and arson charges, according to the sheriff’s office.
The suspect in custody is 29-year-old Alex Duran, and is scheduled to be in court Monday, Dec. 23 at 10:00 a.m.
The Red Cross is helping families displaced from six units, officials say.