COLORADO SPRINGS — The massive blaze that destroyed 8 units, displaced 10-people and killed two cats at the Ridgeview Place apartments is now being blamed on careless smoking. The fire broke out in unit #199 a little before 5:00 p.m. on August 27th, at 3475 Knoll Lane. Fire investigators released their finding on Friday and determined the fire was accidental.
Officials say the flames started at the south wall in the living room of the unit and spread quickly through an open patio door on the east side of the apartment. From there, it instantly burned the upper apartments and breezeway. The fire traveled fast through the breezeway, which caused the fire to spread to the entire west side of the building.
The resident told investigators that he had smoked a cigarette in his apartment before taking his dog for a walk. Within a half-an-hour of the man leaving the unit, the person in the upstairs unit called 9-1-1 to report the fire.
Approximately 50- firefighters fought the blaze. No injuries were reported, though paramedics treated one person on the scene for minor smoke inhalation.
Fire fighters were called back to the Ridgeview Place apartments on Thursday night for yet another fire. This time it was at 3465 Knoll Lane in the complex that shares a thin wall with the units that burned on Tuesday. People living in the complex were immediately evacuated and the fire was contained to just one unit. A man living in the complex told News5 that he believed the fire started in his unit because he left a cooler on top of his stove while he went to the store.
No one was injured in Thursday night's fire and investigators are still looking into the cause.