Timetable for return not set for Littleton seniors after fire

By Chris Rotar
Posted 4/14/16

A spokesman for the Littleton senior apartment building that was evacuated after a fire last week said this morning there is no specific timetable for when residents can return home.

"We are aiming …

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Timetable for return not set for Littleton seniors after fire

Posted

A spokesman for the Littleton senior apartment building that was evacuated after a fire last week said this morning there is no specific timetable for when residents can return home.

"We are aiming to have answers early next week," said Andy Boian, CEO of Dovetail Solutions, a public-relations and crisis-management firm based in Denver. "Our goal is to get them back as soon as possible."

But there is 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 April 6 fire started on the fourth floor and hit 24 units of Southview Place Towers 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.

The fire displaced all residents of the 130-unit apartment building at 5820 S. Windermere St. A dozen or more of the seniors have spent each night since April 6 at a nearby Red Cross shelter, while others are staying with family, friends or in a hotel.

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

"We announced yesterday that every one of those 130 units are getting new refrigerators," he said.

As of the morning of April 15, the gas and 80 percent of the electricity were back on in the building and the elevator was fully functional, Boian said. The fire-alarm system was still being repaired.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to a City of Littleton spokeswoman.

Southview Place Towers comprises two adjacent buildings that were built in the early 1970s, one on Windermere Street and one on Datura Street. The one on Datura was not affected by the fire.

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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