Business owner pleads for change after fire almost burns his business

Colorado Springs, Colorado (KKTV) – A business owner is calling for change after an out-of-control homeless campfire broke out at his business’ feet.

You may remember this video of the fire that aired on the news about a week and a half ago. This is located in the Budget Build Pros on Waynoka Road near Constitution and Powers in the Cimarron Hills area.

Sam Blatherwick, owner of Budget Build Pros, said: “It’s just the fact that we know there are multiple businesses that have a lot of equipment on site and may be at risk of fire.”

It took nine firefighters from Cimarron Hills Fire and Falcon Fire two hours to put out the blaze. About 10 minutes of his acre burned on January 18th. Cimarron Hills Fire Division Chief said it was not an easy fire to fight.

“We went in right away and there was no water at first,” said JT McCloud, Chief of the Cimarron Hills Fire Department. “We were working to contain the fires and protect the radiation exposure. Then we switched and the Falcon engines got there. We don’t have a steady water supply.”

Sam Blatherwick says homeless camps have been a big problem for his business over the past few years.

“Since 2020, I’ve called the police at least 10 times,” Brutherwick said. “About once a month. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were more.”

Cimarron Hills Fire says the fire was started by someone, but is still investigating. A firefighter saw people fleeing the scene before El Paso County Sheriff’s Department deputies got a chance to question them, he told 11 News.

“It’s kind of a waiting game,” says Blatherwick. “It was sadly that day when it was going to get really out of hand.”

Brutherwick would like situations like this to be taken more seriously. Without the fire department’s prompt response when he called, his business could have been damaged or worsened, he says.

The Cimarron Fire Department is partnering with the Colorado Springs Commissioner to develop the Homeless Task Force. It is used to help with the concerns of the growing homeless population.

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