Residents relocated from shelter after apartment fire

All 130 units were evacuated after April 6 blaze in Littleton

Posted 4/18/16

A Red Cross shelter that had been a temporary home for at least a dozen seniors in the wake of an apartment fire has closed.

On April 16, the Red Cross reported that everyone who had been staying at the shelter in Littleton has been relocated to …

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Residents relocated from shelter after apartment fire

All 130 units were evacuated after April 6 blaze in Littleton

Posted

A Red Cross shelter that had been a temporary home for at least a dozen seniors in the wake of an apartment fire has closed.

On April 16, the Red Cross reported that everyone who had been staying at the shelter in Littleton has been relocated to temporary apartments, care communities or hotels. The Red Cross operated a pair of shelters after the April 6 fire at Southview Place Towers. On April 13, more than a dozen seniors were moved from Littleton United Methodist Church to the Life Center, about a block away on Datura Street.

Meanwhile, the cause of the fire at 5820 S. Windermere St. remained under investigation, and residents of the 130-unit building waited to find out when they could return home.

“We’re taking it one day at a time,” said Ted Lemke, a resident of the 55-and-over apartment complex.

A spokesman hired by the ownership of Southview Place Towers said information regarding a timetable for residents’ return might be available early this week.

“Our goal is to get them back as soon as possible,” said Andy Boian, CEO of Dovetail Solutions, a public-relations and crisis-management firm based in Denver.

But there was still work to be done in order to ensure the building is safe for a return, Boian said. Continued testing of the building’s air quality and structural integrity are among the tasks, he said.

The fire started on the fourth floor and hit 24 units of the building particularly hard. The tests are focused on those apartments, Boian said. Residents have not been able to retrieve their belongings from those units, which may have to be completely overhauled.

Concerns over asbestos prompted tests in the days after the fire. Boian said the tests show “there is no asbestos in the air” for the building as a whole. But a wall was constructed in an effort to ensure asbestos doesn’t leak from the two dozen apartments hit hardest.

Boian said residents were being kept up to date on developments through two daily briefings at the shelter.

“We announced (April 14) that every one of those 130 units are getting new refrigerators,” he said.

Southview Place Towers comprises two adjacent buildings that were built in the early 1970s, one on Windermere Street and one on Datura Street.

The fire did not reach the Datura building.

In February, the buildings were purchased for $30.5 million by Tebo-Orvis LLC, according to Arapahoe County property records. Documents list Stephen D. Tebo as the company’s manager. He is the founder and owner of Boulder-based Tebo Properties.

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