Video shows people ready to jump from balcony to escape apartment fire

A fire that left one woman in the hospital broke out at about 3 a.m. Friday at the Santa Fe Apartments in Cottonwood Heights. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) — A fire that left one woman in the hospital broke out at about 3 a.m. Friday at the Santa Fe Apartments in Cottonwood Heights.

Unified Fire says it was "accidentally" started, but they could not say exactly how.

The ground was cold enough to freeze water, yet Carly Furlong, who lives in the apartment next door to where the fire is believed to have started, said she could not believe how hot it was.

“I was standing in my pajamas, barefoot, and it was so hot that it wasn’t cold at 3 in the morning and 35 degrees outside," Furlong said.

It was also bright enough to wake up Furlong, who immediately stared capturing the growing flames on her cell phone.

“I looked out the window and I saw the flames coming through the window," Furlong said.

The quickly-growing fire forced the person on the second floor to scale down the side of the building. The person on the top floor started hopping the rail.

“I couldn’t believe what I was watching," Furlong said, "they were trying to literally jump off their balcony because the fire was going so fast.”

In all, four units got burned. Firefighters say the woman in the unit where the fire started suffered serious injuries. People from the other units got to safety just in time.

“I immediately threw them blankets and I threw them sweats and we all just came together as an apartment complex,” Furlong remembered.

She said she wanted to do anything to help on one of the scariest days she has ever lived through. A couple dozen evacuated neighbors were able to return around 5 p.m. Friday. Clean up and restoration crews have the burned units boarded up. Neighbors say The Red Cross made a temporary shelter for those displaced earlier in the day and put them up in a hotel for the night.

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