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Second fire in six years at apartment complex forces residents to evacuate

By Olivia Wilmsen, Multimedia Journalist, olivia.wilmsen@krdo.com
Published On: Mar 19 2014 06:52:14 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2014 10:59:58 AM CDT

For the second time in six years, fire forces people in Devonshire Square Apartments to evacuate.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

For the second time in six years, fire forces people in one Colorado Springs apartment complex to evacuate.

This time three people were hurt and the fire left about 100 without a place to live. It happened at the Devonshire Square Apartments on East Uintah near Circle just before 10 a.m. Wednesday morning (3/19/14).

"It's terrifying,” said apartment resident Betty Steeves.

Those are words no one wants to say.

"All of a sudden everybody started banging on my door,” said resident Jeremy Phillips.

"One of my family friends was like, 'Your apartment's on fire!'" said resident Kateri Hrack.

Two units on the third floor of the northeast wing were on fire.

"I could smell smoke and it was really scary. I wanted to get the fire extinguisher and go in there, but there was just too much smoke,” said Trevor Skoczen.

"Several people on our floor are handicapped and all I could think about was get my kids out and get them taken care of,” said Steeves.

Steeves helped her neighbor Jeremy Phillips get out of the building.  

"When I opened up my front door in the hallway, I smelled the smoke,” he said.

"There was smoke coming up atop and I thought it was getting into my place and I was really scared,” said Skoczen.

Firefighters had to rescue two people out of the second story window. Three people went to hospitals for smoke inhalation. The good news is firefighters and residents moved quickly to get everyone out.

"I'm just really proud of everybody that lives here because everybody tried so hard to work as a community to make sure that their neighbors were safe," said Steeves.          

The Red Cross is working with residents who need a place to stay.

The fire department says the 2008 fire was a stovetop fire. Firefighters are investigating the cause of Wednesday’s fire.

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