One person died following a Thursday morning fire in a Casper apartment building that houses senior citizens, roughly 13 hours after another downtown blaze left a person hospitalized.
Thursday’s fire broke out in an apartment on the seventh floor of St. Anthony Manor. It killed a person on the same floor as well as a pet, said Casper Fire-EMS spokesman Dane Andersen. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
Another person was taken to a Casper hospital for smoke inhalation. Other people were treated at the scene.
Authorities were investigating Thursday what caused the fire, which began shortly after 10:30 a.m. The blaze was contained to one unit within the building, but the smoke spread over multiple floors.
Fire officials did not release the name, age or gender of the person who died in the fire and said the identity will be released pending notification of family.
Some people evacuated the building of their own accord, Andersen said. He asked anyone still in the building to remain in their apartments with doors unlocked.
St. Anthony’s Manor is an eight-story building on the corner of East Sixth Street. Archdiocesan Housing of Denver manages the building, which offers affordable housing for seniors and people who have mobility impairments. Residents must be at least 62 years old.
Anderson said in a later news release that none of the building’s residents have been displaced.
A spokeswoman for the housing company could not be reached Thursday afternoon.
Wednesday night’s blaze broke out around 9 p.m. in a Second Street apartment near the intersection with Center Street. Crews arrived at 9:20 p.m. and quickly extinguished the fire. Smoke then billowed out of the windows and into the night air as firefighters worked to ventilate a building filled with smoke.
The blaze drew seven fire department vehicles, along with police vehicles, Wyoming Medical Center ambulances and a Natrona County Fire Protection District investigator.
An injured person was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, Casper police Sgt. Zack Winter said Wednesday night.
The fire did not extend into any of the adjacent buildings, said Interim Casper Fire Chief Jason Speiser.
Frontier Brewing, which is next door, was evacuated. About 40 people watched emergency crews respond to the blaze from across the street.
The bar was scheduled to re-open Thursday night, co-owner Shawn Houck said before expressing concern for his neighbors.
“We wish them a speedy recovery,” Houck said.
Speiser said it was too soon to estimate how much damage was caused by the fire. However, there was “probably pretty extensive smoke damage, at least,” he said.
The bottom floor of the building, which houses Alpenglow Natural Foods, was filled with smoke. The owners of the store could not be reached Thursday.
The Casper Fire-EMS Department and the Natrona County Fire Protection District were still investigating the cause of the fire on Thursday morning, according to a fire department announcement.