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Some still displaced after February apartment fire in Arapahoe County

Firefighters said at the time that people in about 86 apartments were displaced. Omen Cross was one of them.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — Some people are still out of their homes three months after a fire at the Club Valencia apartments in Arapahoe County. 

The fire happened in early February at the apartment complex off South Parker Road. South Metro Fire Rescue said it started from a cooking fire, and was ruled accidental. 

Firefighters said at the time that people in about 86 apartments were displaced. 

Omen Cross was one of them. 

"Everything that we have now that we had from the old apartment was literally just those things we were able to pick up, put in bags and evacuate the day of the fire, which wasn’t a whole lot," Cross said. "Everything I didn’t touch that day I haven’t touched since."

The fire started in another apartment in the building Cross lived in. He only had a couple of minutes to grab what he could.

Credit: Tom Cole

Like so many others, Cross has not been back into his unit. That portion of the building is boarded up and fenced off indefinitely. 

"I'm never going home at this rate," Cross said. "I spent most of the time between now and when this happened trying to get back into my apartment, but despite all the efforts of my individual landlord and despite all my efforts, it just does not seem like it’s going to happen." 

The building's HOA said they have been working hard to get these tenants back in their homes.  

The acting president of the HOA, Juergen Waldvogel, told 9NEWS two insurance claims have been denied and they can't afford renovations to that portion of the building until they are approved. 

Waldvogel said they have an attorney and are working to appeal the denials. 

Credit: Sky9

"There were 80-something families that were thrown out in the street that day," Cross said. "There's too many people that have been affected by this for it to have taken too long to do anything about it."

Cross has since found another place to stay. He doesn't expect to get back the clothes, kitchen items and sentimental possessions left behind in his old unit. But for other residents still in limbo, he hopes solutions come soon. 

"There’s a lot of people that did real good work, but we’re still this far out, and for the people that used to live there, nothing has really changed," Cross said. "So I don’t feel like that’s an acceptable time frame for me." 

Waldvogel said many of the HOA board members joined just a month or two before the February fire. He said a lot of them joined because of a fire that happened in November. That fire also displaced more than 80 units. 


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