Firefighters respond to same apartment building 3 times in 1 day; release fire cause

Firefighters during initial response to 2460 E. Monument St. (Photo: CSFD)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - It was a busy Wednesday for Springs firefighters, who were called to the same building three times in the span of 15 hours.

Monday, the fire department announced the cause of the initial fire: a plumber using a torch to either connect or disconnect copper pipes. That fire was quickly extinguished but reignited two more times before the day was over.

The first time firefighters were called to the eight-unit apartment building on 2460 E. Monument St. was 5:30 a.m. The fire sparked in the bathroom and spread into the attic. Eight people were evacuated, and two minor injuries were reported.

At noon, firefighters returned to the building after smoke was seen drifting out of a wall. Firefighters found a small section of insulation still smoldering from the earlier fire. The insulation was removed, and thermal imaging was used to ensure there were no hot spots.

But even so, at 8:30 that night firefighters made a third trip to the apartment on reports of smoke coming from the roof. The fire had rekindled in several different locations along the roof, forcing a three-hour-long firefighter and the response of more than 60 firefighters.

Monday, the fire department said:

"The Colorado Springs Fire Department prides itself on being a professional fire department that extinguishes fires thoroughly while remaining cognizant of the needed balance between overhaul and property preservation. The affected structure was built in 1967 and has unique or atypical design and construction features. For example, the insulation remains wool with paper backing on both sides, its roof combined flat and peaked portions with vaulted ceilings interior in four of the eight apartments. The party wall at this structure extends the entire length of the building from north to south which is used as a pipe chase both horizontally and vertically. There is no fire blocking or fire stops built into the party wall which resembles balloon frame construction and a 90’x16’x6” void space in the heart of the building creating difficult access for firefighters."

The fire department said it will use this case as a training tool for firefighters.