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Residents Jump From Balconies To Escape Fire, 8 Hospitalized

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) - Eight people were taken to the hospital early Monday when a fire broke out in Centennial at an apartment complex.

South Metro Fire officials said one of the people who was hurt was in critical condition.

The fire started at approximately 1 a.m. at the Copper Terrace Apartments on South Dayton Street near Interstate 25, and several people jumped from upper floors to escape the flames.

Copper Terrace Apartments Fire
(credit: Alyssa Hamlet)

That included Lenise Ruff, who told CBS4 she had help from her quick-thinking neighbors.

"We went to my bedroom, opened the window and I was screaming for help out the window. A bunch of our neighbors gathered around us -- we're on the third floor -- and they were just like 'Just throw out as many blankets as you can. You have to jump! You have to jump!'" she said.

Ruff suffered some burns on her hands, and she says her roommate broke two vertebrae in her lower back when she jumped from the upper floor. During her interview on the CBS4 Morning News she was wearing gauze on both hands.

Ruff said she thinks the fire may have started in the unit across the hallway from her's.

"We woke up, smelled the smoke, tried to go out our front door but instantly my face got singed and my hands got burned from trying to open the door and close the door," she said.

(credit: CBS)

Ruff told CBS4 she is getting married this weekend and her roommate who injured her back is the maid of honor.

The fire damaged a dozen units. The American Red Cross is helping the residents that aren't being allowed back into their apartments.

So far there's no word on the cause of the fire.

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