LITTLETON — One man is dead and 13 others were hospitalized after an apartment fire at a 55 and older community in Littleton early Saturday morning.
Andy Boian is a spokesman for Southview Towers, which owns the Windermere Apartments. He says the man living in the apartment where the fire started is dead. Littleton Police identified him as Michael Craig Mitchell. It was his 70th birthday.
Eric Hurst with South Metro Fire Rescue said several people were trapped when the fire broke out at the six-story building at 5829 S. Datura St.
Three people are in serious condition, and 10 others are in stable condition, SMFR said in a tweet.
One person who was injured broke several bones after jumping from a second floor balcony, Hurst said. Most of the other injuries were due to smoke inhalation.
“We had one person jump,” Hurst said. “We had a second resident who was trapped in the apartment above the one that was on fire – directly above it. That person was rescued via ladder by firefighters and brought to the ground.”
Hurst said the fire started and was contained in a first floor unit, which was extinguished before 5:40 a.m.
"Right now, firefighters are trying to clear the smoke out of the building because it can be very toxic," Hurst said.
All evacuated residents are being sheltered nearby at 5804 S. Datura. The Red Cross has been called to assist any residents who may be displaced long term by the fire. Littleton Fire Rescue says due to the air quality in the building, displaced residents will not be allowed back into their homes until Monday at the earliest.
More than 100 first responders were at the scene, along with 13 ambulances, 10 fire engines, and four ladder trucks, according to SMFR.
Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.