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Neighbors help one another after fire leaves dozens displaced

A fire at a Wheat Ridge apartment building left dozens displaced. We speak to those who were impacted just before the holidays.

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — Dozens of people in Wheat Ridge are trying to salvage what they can after a fire left them unable to get back into their homes, weeks before the holidays.

West Metro Fire officials said the first call about a fire on Otis Street near 46th Place came in before 6:30 a.m.

RELATED: 5 units in Wheat Ridge apartment building uninhabitable after fire

“I was up early getting ready for work. And I went to a neighbor's who was holding some food for me in the freezer,” manager and resident Marina Bowers said.

That neighbor told Bowers the apartment next door was on fire.

"I was terrified. I looked over and I saw the smoke billowing out of the vents underneath,” Bowers said.

She immediately began her morning by saving her neighbors.

“So I just started banging on doors. I could barely see it, and I was outside,” Bowers said.

The first door she ran to belonged to Danielle Anaya, who was directly above the fire with her 4-year-old son and boyfriend.

"We woke up. It was full of smoke. I couldn't even see my son in his bedroom,” she said.

She was able to get him out safely in his firetruck onesie. But once they went back, there wasn’t much left behind.

"Everything is ruined. All of our pictures are broken. Christmas presents ruined. Our Christmas tree is broken in half,” Anaya said.

Credit: 9News

Fire officials believe the fire started in the basement near the laundry and boiler room and begin to spread. Dozens who lived there are now left without a home and are in a bit of a pickle.

“I didn’t have renters insurance. It's only $12. I got a quote last week, and I didn’t act on it. So I wish I had renters insurance. We’re going to have to replace all of our furniture,” Bowers said.

In total, five units are uninhabitable due to smoke, water and fire damage.

As the Red Cross helped those in need, Bowers had another priority.

"I'm worried about the residents to make sure they have a place to go. That they are taken care of tonight and that everybody is warm and safe. That's the first priority,” Bowers said.

When these residents were asked what’s next for them, many couldn’t wrap their minds around that thought as they tried to salvage what was left behind.

"We don't know,” Taylor Firman said.

What they do know is they have each other and their family two weeks before the holidays. 

Fire investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.

If you’d like to assist Anaya's family, you can do so here.

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