Investigators say a fire than caused just over $1 million in damage Wednesday night at the Park West Apartments near 108th and Fort was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials.
Battalion Chief Scott Fitzpatrick says the fire started on a third floor balcony and had already spread to the roof by the time firefighters arrived. The third and second floors collapsed. 24 units were destroyed and dozens of people were left without a place to stay.
"We're left homeless," Stephanie Hobbs told 6 News. "We're staying with a friend, thank God, but there are people who are from out of town that just moved here who have nothing. They have nothing now."
No serious injuries were reported although one person was taken to the hospital due to a pre-existing condition.
Fitzpatrick is reminding all apartment residents to take extra precautions to make sure cigarettes are completely out before leaving a balcony.
"The problem we see a lot is people think their cigarette is out. They flick them into flower pots or other areas that are wood or mulch where that cigarette is not completely out." He says those cigarettes smolder for several hours before ending up in a significant fire.
He advises people to get a metal bucket with sand to put their cigarettes in.