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Apartment destroyed, dozens displaced in Colo. Springs fire

Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:39:48 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 26 2013 06:36:22 PM CDT

A fire at a Colorado Springs apartment complex destroyed an apartment and forced dozens to evacuate late Wednesday night.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

Investigators are still looking into what caused a fire Wednesday night (9/25/13) that destroyed an apartment in Colorado Springs.

It started just after 10 p.m. at the Residence at Austin Bluffs Apartments on the 4100 block of Morning Sun Avenue, near Austin Bluffs and Academy.

The Colorado Springs Fire Department said nearly 30 people were initially displaced by the fire, but many had been allowed to return by Thursday afternoon.

Neighbors who noticed the fire banged on doors to alert others.

"I was in there brushing my teeth, but then they knocked on our window," said 8-year-old Michelle Vidal-Salazar. "They said, 'There's a fire, there's a fire,' and they were crying."

Michelle and her two cousins, ages 8 and 3, were among those who had to rush to get out of their homes.

"I got out in my PJs, and it was very cold," she said. "And somebody gave us food and everything."

She said her family stayed in a hotel and they were able to return Thursday.

The Red Cross helped people find temporary shelter, and firefighters said they treated six people for minor injuries, including one firefighter who suffered from dehydration.

Firefighters also rescued several cats.

"There was a big fluffy white cat, it was about to jump out the third floor window," said neighbor Amy Proctor. "So we had to get the fire people to come and rescue the cat, and I think they'd already rescued two cats out of that same apartment."

One man, who was reportedly drunk, was arrested for trying to get back into his apartment during the fire fight. The El Paso Co. Sheriff's Office said Jason Talley, 40, was booked into jail and held on $800 bond for Obstructing a Fireman and Failing To Leave the Premises Upon Request of a Peace Officer.

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