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Questions being raised about deadly apartment fire in Westminster

Attorney wonders if building was up to code
Posted: 7:46 PM, Aug 17, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-18 01:48:08Z

WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- A deadly apartment fire that was intentionally set is now being scrutinized by a forensic engineer and attorney.

Two people died, and 14 were sent to the hospital during a fire at a Westminster apartment building on July 22.

Nearly a month later, an attorney with the Burg Simpson Law Firm is questioning if the apartment had the required one-hour fire-resistive compartments that they believe are required by code.

“And that should have allowed this fire to be more contained and people to get out safely and instead it looks like a large part of the building was engulfed very quickly," said Mari Perczak, an attorney with Burg Simpson who specializes in construction-related law.

Perczak is working with a forensic engineer to better understand what might have gone wrong. She points to a number of red flags like how fast the fire spread and the direction it traveled.

Forensic engineer, Ed Fronapfel, said the fire moved laterally which can be an indication that the proper protections were not in place.

"Spreading out, once it’s into the attic space it wants to move out sideways instead of being stopped," said Fronapfel.

The fire spread to more than half of the units in the building, and some people were forced to jump from their balconies because they couldn't escape. 

"The fire seems to have spread more quickly than it should have if things have been built correctly but no we are not at the point yet where we can say exactly what was wrong, that needs to be further investigated," said Perczak.