The man who died in a Nov. 17 fire at the Windermere apartments in Littleton had drawn complaints for smoking inside his unit, according to a police report. Michael Mitchell, 70, was found dead in …
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Nov. 17: One dead, 13 injured, dozens displaced as fire forces evacuation of Littleton apartment building for seniors
Nov. 18: Windermere fire: 'I can't believe this is happening again'
Nov. 19: Windermere fire ruled accidental, residents still waiting for news
Nov. 20: Seniors likely won't be able to return to Windermere apartment building hit by fire until at least next week
Nov. 26: Fire in 2016 saw tower's residents evicted
Nov. 27: Heroes emerge from smoke
Nov. 27: Windermere residents, evacuated after fire, to spend another week waiting
Nov. 28: County officials preparing to help seniors displaced by fire
Nov. 30: Windermere fire victim drew complaints over smoking
Dec. 3: Residents of senior apartment building hit by fire in Littleton must find new homes
Dec. 8: Windermere fire evacuees face difficult future
Dec. 12: Evacuees prepare to move out of Windermere apartments in Littleton
Dec. 20: Windermere evacuees say goodbye to community
Jan. 17: Windermere probably won't face sprinkler requirement
Jan. 28: Some Windermere fire victims still searching for housing
Feb. 18: Windermere evacuees moving forward, moving on
May 24: City council recognizes heroes of Windermere fire
The man who died in a Nov. 17 fire at the Windermere apartments in Littleton had drawn complaints for smoking inside his unit, according to a police report.
Michael Mitchell, 70, was found dead in his first-floor apartment after the early-morning blaze. The fire forced the evacuation of the 130-unit senior apartment tower at 5829 S. Datura St. At least 14 others were injured, including six police officers.
Littleton fire investigators ruled the fire accidental, but have not yet determined the specific cause. Mitchell's cause and manner of death were not yet available on Nov. 30, according to the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office.
Windermere management was aware of complaints from residents that Mitchell smoked cigarettes inside his unit, which was a violation of the complex's rules, according to the report. Mitchell had only lived at the apartment for a month or so, the report says.
A witness saw a man she later identified as Mitchell in the hall moments after the fire broke out “with grease on his face,” according to the report.
The witness said she asked the man what he was doing, and he said “something to the effect of `I was working.' ”
Mitchell instructed the woman to pull a fire extinguisher off the wall and hand it to him before “disappearing down the hall,” the report said.
Emergency responders later found Mitchell dead in his apartment, face down in a back bedroom. Investigators found a fire extinguisher in the living room area across from the fire's apparent origin point.
“Nothing appeared suspicious,” according to the report.
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