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'Deficiencies' in fire safety found at local apartment complex

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Jan 30 2014 08:56:03 PM CST

Colorado Springs apartment complex that recently caught fire has many "deficiencies," investigators say.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Investigators with the Colorado Springs Fire Department said they found eight different fire code violations during an investigation after last week's fire at the Cheyenne Vista Apartments.

The findings of the investigation confirm a resident's claim that several fire alarms did not sound during the Jan. 21 fire that damaged six units in Building 360.

Investigators said they noted "deficiencies" with residents being able to quickly leave the units, the integrity of the building's construction, fire lanes, access to fire extinguishers, private fire hydrants, smoke alarms, fire alarms and the building's electrical system.

A licensed third party contractor inspected the complex's fire alarm system before the fire and "had noted deficiencies," investigators said.

A manager at the complex said Thursday the system was being repaired at the time of the fire and did not comment further.

The investigation also found code violations in other areas of the complex.

Residents previously said many fire alarms were not working, were painted over or had disconnected wires.

The fire department gave the complex an unspecified amount of time to correct the violations or face misdemeanor charges.

Residents responded to the results of the investigation.

"I actually (was) talking to some other residents from here," said Jonathan Gaver.  "They were the ones who told me about it.  They seemed extremely concerned about it, and were not very happy."

April Cohran, another resident, said she wasn't surprised to hear about the violations.

"It's very, very scary," she said.  "I have a 6-year-old daughter and it's just horrible to think about.   But we're definitely trying to (move) out of here."

The fire's cause has yet to be determined.

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