FORT COLLINS, Colo. - A cigarette may be to blame for a 3-alarm fire in Fort Collins Tuesday morning that badly damaged a three-story apartment complex and displaced 30 people.
A resident told 7NEWS he thinks a cigarette butt his roommate put inside a 5-gallon bucket must have not been put out all the way.
"What I'm assuming is he threw a cigarette butt in a 5-gallon bucket and the 5-gallon bucket ignited, and then ignited the table and everything else that was out on the patio," said Michael Cameron, a resident at the Buffalo Run Apartments. "I just had a glass of water and I threw it at the base of the fire thinking it would do something but it didn't do anything at all."
Poudre Fire Authority confirmed to 7NEWS that they are interviewing two roommates about the fire.
The fire at the Buffalo Run Apartments on East Lincoln Avenue and South Lemay Avenue was first reported at 3:55 a.m.
More than 40 firefighters were called out to fight the fire, according to Captain Patrick Love with the Poudre Fire Authority. The Red Cross says more than 30 adults and children are being helped with emergency needs like food, shelter, clothing and medical needs.
Love said there is damage on all three floors of the apartment building. There are 12 units in the damaged building. Love said no injuries have been reported.
"I'm still kind of shocked about the whole situation and how it spread throughout the building," said Cameron. "It was so smoky, I smell like smoke still. It was pretty bad."
The resident above Cameron's unit Amanda Saiz woke up to what she thought was thunder, then she saw the flames.
"There was just this large flame coming from the apartment down below. I grabbed my kids and tried to get out of the apartment and just started banging on other doors and getting all the other people out" Saiz said. "By the time we got everyone out and across the parking lot it was just in a huge flame."
The Red Cross setup a temporary shelter for all the residents in the building at Timberline Church. They will handle shelter needs on a day-by-day basis. They're also providing basic necessities for all the families.