A fire completely destroyed a small home at 5868 S. Rapp St. on the afternoon of May 14.
Police officers on the scene said there were no injuries reported, but the three young people who were renting the home lost everything.
“At the end of the day, it’s just stuff,” said Cody Ullrich, 21. “At least nobody got hurt.”
Ullrich is in the Army Reserve, and all of his uniforms were in the house.
Hannah Brown, 21, and Erica Emmelhainz both work at Alamo Drafthouse. For Emmelhainz, the fire was a terrible birthday surprise; it was her 23rd.
“If Hannnah hadn’t wanted to take me out for a birthday lunch, we would have been here,” she said through tears.
Emmelhainz said the hardest part was seeing everything they’d worked for charred beyond recognition.
“A lot of people our age still live with their parents,” she said. “We've gone through college, and we were paying our own rent. It just really sucks to feel like you worked toward something and felt independent, then just have it taken away.”
All three thanked Littleton Fire Rescue for their hard work, and for cutting them a check for fresh clothes and other necessities from the burn-relief fund. They all said they have family in the area to stay with.
Neighbor Steven Schlenker was attending a training session for his new job at The Tavern. He saw the smoke and heard the sirens from the establishment’s upstairs patio.
“I thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s right where my house is,’” he said, and he rushed home to find the flames dangerously close but being staved off by firefighters.
“The flames didn’t really get above the house, it mostly just busted out the windows and stuff,” said witness Brady Schroder. “The fire was coming out all the windows, and next thing you know, the roof was on fire.”
According to the Arapahoe County Assessor’s website, the home is owned by Rapport Holdings LLC in Highlands Ranch. John Dick is a principal in the company, but a call to his phone went unanswered.
The building was recently valued at $122,000.