ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Multiple Ivy Crossing residents, who fled a deadly fire early Saturday morning, said they were left with nothing but what they escaped with.
“As soon as I opened the door, smoke came into our apartment and it was hot and I just knew we weren’t going out that way,” said Gavin Langlois, who escaped from the window with his girlfriend and one of their cats.
Langlois said he wasn’t awoken by a fire alarm but by his girlfriend. He said the fire alarms in his unit weren’t going off and there weren’t any in the hallway going off either. He said the only one he heard was in the distance, possibly on the second floor.
“Our apartment was full of smoke and it wasn’t going off,” Langlois said.
Langlois also said there were no sprinklers in the building.
“It was extreme negligence,” Langlois said.
Langlois’ other cat was, thankfully, found the next day, alive in the burned apartment unit. He said they are starting at zero and have started a GoFundMe to help them get back on their feet.
“We feel amazing. We feel that it’s a miracle,” Langlois said.
No sprinklers required, violations found
According to South Metro Fire Rescue, which responded to the blaze, Ivy Crossing is one of several apartment complexes in the area that were built before 1972, which means sprinkler systems were not a requirement. Fire code does not require retroactively installing sprinkler systems, but property owners could always choose to add them on their own.
“I’m not surprised there were multiple fatalities, because you couldn’t go in the hallways, you had to jump out the window,” said Rob Foster, who also escaped the fire from his window.
A fire inspection for Ivy Crossing Apartment Homes was done by South Metro back on Feb. 9. The building had three violations.
The first was the fire alarm and detection systems. The findings from South Metro explain: “All Buildings not including townhomes currently missing a manual fire alarm system. Per section: 1103.7.6 Group R-2A manual fire alarm system that activates the occupant notification system in accordance with Section 907.5 shall be installed in existing Group R-2 occupancies more than three stories in height or with more than 16 dwelling or sleeping units.”
The second violation was for portable fire extinguishers. The findings from South Metro explain: “Fire extinguishers missing or expired, or has been discharged in the following locations: BLDG -7595 between 106 and 102, between 303 and 307 BLDG -7575 all fire extinguishers, missing104 and 108, BLDG-7576 first floor corridor, BLDG- 7545 between 107 and 103, BLDG- 2370 between207 and 203, BLDG- 2390 between laundry room and 102, 202 and 206 BLDG- 2340 between 102 and103 BLDG-2380 between 106 and 107, 203 and 202, BLDG-2320 between 202 and 206, 302 and 306,BLDG- fire extinguisher cabinet and fire extinguisher.”
The third violation was listed under general. The findings from South Metro explain: “First floor fire doors did not latch securely when closed or the closing mechanism was damaged or removed in the following buildings: 7576, 7561, 2450, 2460, 7555, 2340, 2380, 2340, 2330.”
South Metro said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. They confirmed that at least one dog died in the fire. Firefighters were able to rescue at least one dog and two cats.
FOX31 and Channel 2 have reached out to the management company for Ivy Crossing Apartments and have yet to hear back.