This morning I read about a fire in Aurora, Colorado, at a 4-story apartment building.  The fire occurred Monday night, and it’s possible that it is the result of arson.  Sadly, there were two fatalities – a couple who had lived in the building since the 1970’s.

Because the hallways were fully involved right away, residents of the apartments could not exit via the corridors and stairs, so many of them either jumped from their windows or waited for firefighters to rescue them via ladders.  Today I have been thinking about the fact that the apartment doors likely prevented the fire from spreading into the apartments long enough for the residents to be rescued, and sure enough, I just read an article that mentions the fire doors:

Robnett said the building predated mandatory sprinkler systems.

Southard confirmed that, saying the building was from the early 1960s. He said the building does have fire alarms and metallic, fire-resistant doors.

The fire burned so hot and spread so quickly that it melted down most of the alarms, Southard said. He credited the fire door of his apartment for separating him and his family from the flames.

The door – sides, bottom and top – was aglow from the quickly spreading fire in the hallway.

“It was like the fire had fingers and it was trying to break through the door,” Southard said.

He got his family — including a 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son — out through a window.

You can read the rest of the Denver Post article here.  There is video footage of some of the rescues on the Statter911 website.

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