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Saturday blaze destroys two apartments

A fire that took place early Saturday morning destroyed two townhouse apartments on Ace Court and displaced 13 people, including two children.

According to Pagosa Fire Protection District Chief Diane Bower, the blaze started at about 2:40 a.m. Saturday in a vehicle parked next to the apartment building.

The fire then spread to the building, burning two apartments, located at 73 and 75 Ace Court (near Piedra Road and U.S. 160), Bower explained.

Over 30 firefighters responded to the scene, battling the burn until daylight.

After the fire was extinguished, Bower said crews spent time looking for a dog belonging to an apartment resident. Crews left the scene at about 10 a.m.

Bower said the apartment closest to the vehicle is a total loss, while the apartment next to it was also severely damaged and may be considered a total loss, as well.

A trench cut in the roof of the second apartment prevented the fire from spreading to other apartment units, Bower said.

But, though the fire only severely damaged the two apartments closest to the vehicle, electrical damage to the apartments mean that the other residents of the other apartments in the complex have also been displaced until the electrical system can be repaired, Bower explained.

Bower said she had heard estimates of two weeks for fixing the electrical problems.

Neither family whose apartments were destroyed were insured, Bower said.

“The sad thing is, with the economy, people are living hand-to-mouth anyway,” Bower said.

The American Red Cross Southwest Colorado Chapter is stepping up to help those displaced by the blaze.

The Red Cross is providing food, lodging and comfort kits for the displaced families.

For more information about home fire safety or to donate to help the Red Cross help local residents affected by disasters like this one, visit www.ColoradoRedCross.org.

Additionally, an account has been set up at the Bank of the San Juans to help the family whose apartment was closest to the vehicle and that was considered a total loss.

A cousin of the family, Jennifer Segura, said the Fire Benefit Account has been set up at the bank to accept donations for the family, which she said lost everything in the fire.

Segura said she is also holding a bake sale outside of The Malt Shoppe next Wednesday, March 28, from noon-5 p.m. to raise money for the family.

For more information about the bake sale, or if anyone has any furniture or goods to donate to the family, call Segura at 946-1563.

randi@pagosasun.com

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