COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Residents of the Devonshire Square Apartments still can't return home after a fire broke out Wednesday, but about two dozen of them are being allowed in to get personal items.
A fire broke out at the apartment complex on East Uintah Street on March19. About 100 families haven't been allowed back since.
On Monday (03/24/14,) the apartment management contacted certain residents telling them they would be let in to get some things, not to stay overnight. They were told to be there between 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. By the early afternoon, a growing group waited to be let in. Finally, at around 3 p.m., residents began to enter the building.
"I feel fantastic that I was able to get some of my stuff," Tiffany Jones said. "It was needed."
Jones said she took as many clothes and items as she could. Not everyone was as fortunate. Of the group waiting to be let in, several were turned away.
"The fire entrance to my hallway is boarded up, and we can't get in," Sherry Rundles said.
A message on the apartment complex's website said in part,
"We are continuing to make progress, and agencies are working around the clock to help us prepare the community for your return. After all agencies have approved re-entry into the community, our residents will be able to come back to Devonshire Square in phases."
Meanwhile, the Colorado Springs Fire Department is investigating why smoke alarms in the unit where the fire started apparently didn't work. The apartment complex doesn't have a building-wide fire alarm system, because it wasn't a requirement at the time it was built, and city ordinance does not require retrofit installation.
CSFD said the building had no violations in its last fire inspection in September 2012. It plans a follow-up inspection next week.