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Dozens of people displaced after fire at apartment building

South Metro Fire Rescue said about a dozen people were evaluated at the scene. Three were taken to the hospital.

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo — Three people were taken to the hospital and multiple others were rescued from an apartment building that caught fire in unincorporated Arapahoe County Thursday afternoon.

The fire was reported at the Club Valencia apartments around 12:30 p.m. The apartments are located off South Parker Road near East Mississippi Avenue.

Residents of approximately 85 units have been displaced, according to South Metro Fire Rescue.

Those impacted by the fire can find the Disaster Assistance Center located at Village East Elementary at 1433 S. Oakland Street. It is scheduled to be open Saturday Nov. 5 through Sunday Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Complimentary buses will run between Club Valencia, Village East Elementary, and the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds Shelter from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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South Metro Fire Rescue responded to the call and found heavy fire on the second and third floors of the building. Multiple people were rescued and 15 people were evaluated at the scene. Three of them were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

"The hallways were filled with smoke so they couldn't evacuate out their front doors," South Metro Fire Rescue spokesperson Lauren Ono said. "They were on their balconies. You can't see all the balconies here, but on the backside of the building, we did have multiple ladder rescues."

Tim Suddreth, who lives at the complex, estimates he's around 10 units down from where the fire started. 

“I kind of thought it was spectacular but in a bad way, because it was a spectacular fire but I was just hoping the whole place wouldn’t go up," he said.

He said the smoke alarms helped warn him to leave the building.

Numerous other agencies, including Aurora Fire Rescue and the Denver Fire Department, assisted with the response. The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office was also at the scene.

That large response was related to the fact the building does not have a sprinkler system, Ono said. 

"Coming into the response, we upgraded it to a second alarm before crews even arrived, knowing this was a high-hazard occupancy," Ono said.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, but it appears to have started on the second floor.

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