Aurora Fire Rescue’s largest fire in history: The December 2023 five-alarm blaze

January 16, 2024

A fire which took place on December 16 2023 has been named Aurora Fire Rescue’s largest fire in history.

Overview of the Incident

On December 16, 2023, Aurora Fire Rescue (AFR) faced its largest fire in history, marking a significant event in the department’s record of emergency responses.

The fire saw substantial property damage demanding an unprecedented scale of the firefighting operation, including the number of fire apparatus deployed and the duration of the effort to extinguish the blaze.

The Scale of the Fire

The fire erupted at the Link Apartments Fitz, located at 12000 E.

Colfax Ave.

AFR received the call at approximately 12:45 PM and immediately dispatched units to the scene.

Upon arrival, firefighters were met with heavy smoke and flames emanating from the fifth floor of the building, which was still under construction.

The severity of the situation quickly escalated, leading to the declaration of a five-alarm fire and the request for mutual aid from neighboring fire departments.

Response and Efforts

The response to this major fire involved an extensive list of units and personnel from various departments.

AFR’s commitment included multiple battalion chiefs, engines, ladders, arson units, and command units.

Support from neighboring departments, such as Denver Fire Department, South Metro Fire Rescue, Bennett-Watkins Fire Rescue, Rattlesnake Fire Protection District, Sable Altura Fire Rescue, South Adams County Fire Department, Arapahoe Rescue Patrol, Aurora Police Department, and the South Metro Fire Dispatch Team, was crucial in managing the fire.

One Aurora firefighter suffered minor injuries during the operation but did not require hospitalization.

Investigation and Ongoing Efforts

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

As the fire was extensive and occurred in a construction site, determining the cause and assessing the full extent of the damage are complex tasks requiring detailed examination and analysis.

FSJA Comment

The December 2023 five-alarm fire at the Link Apartments Fitz in Aurora marks a significant event in the history of Aurora Fire Rescue.

The size and intensity of the fire, the extensive property damage, and the extensive resources required to combat the blaze are indicative of the challenges faced by modern fire services in urban environments, particularly at construction sites.

This incident also highlights the importance of interdepartmental cooperation in emergency response, as mutual aid played a critical role in managing the situation.

The event underscores the need for continuous review and adaptation of firefighting tactics and safety measures, especially in densely populated areas and construction sites.

The ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire is crucial for understanding how such incidents can be prevented in the future and for improving fire safety standards across similar sites.

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