THORNTON, Colo. - Two people were injured when a 3-alarm fire burned two condominium buildings near 88th Avenue and Corona Street in Adams County Tuesday.
The first fire call came in at 1:45 p.m., according to Sandy Denne from North Washington Fire District. The first fire unit arrived three minutes later and firefighters concentrated on getting residents out of the burning building.
"It was just a big panic, it's just scary, it just happened so quick," said Rodolfo Ramirez, who first saw the flames as he was returning from the grocery store. "We were trying to break out some of the windows to make sure no one was in there."
Signs on the property indicate the complex is called Corona Village Condominiums, which is just outside Thornton. North Washington Fire Department spokeswoman Sandy Danne said all of the buildings in the complex were evacuated due to the fire.
AIRTRACKER7's cameras showed the flames rising high from one 12-unit building and spreading to a second, neighboring building. The three-story buildings have exterior stairwells, and at one point the flames were fully engulfing one of the entranceways.
The two people injured were contract employees.
At the peak, flames burst out of windows, stairwells and skylights, climbing several feet above the roof of the building. Grass on the side of the building near the street was also burning.
"I went outside and I just saw it burning," said Sally Maestas, who lives in an adjacent building. "It was so high (the flames), it was horrible."
Firefighters arrived shortly after AIRTRACKER7 spotted the smoke and began to spray the buildings with high-powered hoses from the street and parking lot. They are using ladders to attack the flames from a high angle and firefighters on the ground to attack it from there.
No residents were hurt in the fire, Danne said, but one firefighter did sustain a minor injury.
Fire departments on the scene include Thornton, North Washington, North Metro and South West Adams County. The Red Cross is also sending a team to offer help to the residents of up to 96 evacuated condos.
AIRTRACKER7 was flying back from another apartment fire in Aurora when it spotted the smoke at approximately 1:45 p.m. Thornton Fire Department tweeted the fire was officially "under control" at 3:39 p.m.
The building was secured for the night and an investigation into the cause will begin Wednesday.
Note: 7NEWS originally reported it was located within the City of Thornton, but that was incorrect. The building is technically across the city line in unincorporated Adams County.