UPDATE: MONDAY 1/23/2023 8:37 p.m.
(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) carried some elderly residents of a 55+ apartment building down several flights of stairs after a power outage that Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) says was caused by private equipment.
Springs Utilities tweeted about the outage at Regency Towers Apartments just before 8:15 p.m. on Monday, clarifying that the failure that led to the outage was due to private equipment owned by Regency Towers that damaged a utilities transformer, and until Regency completes their own repairs, Springs Utilities cannot restore power to the building.
“While our equipment did not cause the outage, we are doing everything we can to support the complex and its residents until repairs are made,” Springs Utilities said.
On the scene of the outage, CSFD Lt. Aaron McConnellogue said the initial call for service was a report of a fire around 3:30 p.m. showing thick smoke and flames. When firefighters arrived on scene, they discovered the fire was due to the utilities transformer that blew.
McConnellogue said approximately 134 people live inside the building, many elderly, and with no access to the elevator, the evacuation of the building became a “logistical issue” to get those people out to safety. Firefighters were undeterred however, and helped to carry those residents who could not evacuate on their own, some in wheelchairs, down multiple flights of stairs.
When asked if the Red Cross would be responding to assist the people who are now evacuated from their homes, McConnellogue said unfortunately the Red Cross cannot respond because this was not a natural disaster that caused the outage, and that responsibility now falls on the management of Regency Towers.
McConnellogue said firefighters were assisting residents to pack up any items they might need and providing light while they evacuate, and also assisting in trying to find places for the evacuees to stay. McConnellogue said Metro Mobility would be providing transportation, to get evacuees where they need to go.
CSFD said the estimated time of repair for the equipment that failed is approximately two days.
ORIGINAL STORY: Power out at retirement community, CSFD evacuating
MONDAY 1/23/2023 7:08 p.m.
The Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) is helping evacuate non-mobile people from a retirement community due to a power outage that will last at least two days, the department said.
CSFD posted about the outage on Twitter just after 6:30 p.m., and said that the Regency Towers Apartments, which is a 55+ independent living apartment building south of Motor City, is being evacuated.
Firefighters are helping residents who can’t evacuate on their own from the upper floors of the building, CSFD said. 25 firefighters are currently on-scene helping in the efforts.
In an update around 7 p.m., CSFD said they were still working to evacuate approximately 70 people living in the building.