COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Two people were rescued from balconies after a fire started in a four-plex early Wednesday morning.
Officials say the flames spread to the stairs, trapping two occupants on the upper floor. Firefighters used ladders to reach the people and brought both down safely.
"Right now, they are doing fine. They are staying in an ambulance, staying warm. They were evaluated for injuries and there’s no injuries at this time. They are not being transported," said Lt. Don Watkins with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.
The fire started around 3:45 a.m. at a four-plex on Mazatlan Circle near Fountain and Chelton.
"First arriving engine company found a pretty good-sized body of fire on what we call the alpha size of the structure, or front of the structure," Watkins said.
Crews immediately got to work and had the fire knocked down within minutes.
"We initially start with kind of an exterior tactic to knock the fire down, especially when it's blocking the stairways because it's blocking our egress as well," Watkins said of how fire crews set out battling the blaze. "We initially hit that fire from the outside, get it knocked down, and then we can continue in and do our primary search."
With the thermometer well below freezing Wednesday morning, firefighters said they had to be careful of the water the sprayed on the blaze.
"It’s gonna be really icy down there for everybody. What we want to make sure is we don’t have injuries after the fire from slip and falls, whether it’s our firefighters, civilians, everybody walking around," Watkins said. "You put enough water down in these temperatures, it’s going to get dangerous."
Firefighters had salt on hand to keep to roads safe.
With the building being a four-plex, Watkins said firefighters tried to look at it as two different homes.
"We have four separate occupancies, and kind of one of the hazards with those ... once those stairwells are blocked, for sure one of them are blocked to get out," Watkins said. "Other than that, we kind of look at it as two smaller homes; we try to keep the fire in the building of origin or apartment of origin."
Which crews succeeded at Wednesday morning: Watkins told 11 News reporter Jenna Middaugh that he didn't think anyone was going to be displaced except the occupants from the one affected apartment. Red Cross will be assisting those residents.
Watkins said the fire may have started on the outside of the building and spread to the interior, though that and the cause were both under investigation.