Early morning structure fire engulfs Boulder apartment complex

Posted on 10/20/2021 at 05:02 AM
Shannon Aulabaugh

Fifty-one firefighters from Boulder Fire-Rescue and neighboring communities responded to a structure fire at Whittier Apartments, located at 2301 Pearl St. earlier today. The first 9-1-1 call reporting the fire came in at 3:32 a.m.; crews were dispatched at 3:34 a.m., arrived at 3:39 a.m., and by 5:40 a.m., had the inferno under control.


First responders initially believed Whittier apartments was an 83-unit complex, they have now confirmed there are 81 units spread across six buildings. Most structures within the complex have partially collapsed and are not yet safe enough for first responders to enter and search. Initially, first responders also believed that some residents may have sought treatment for minor injuries, but as of this evening, no injuries have been reported. The complex is a mix of owner-owned units, as well as long and short-term rentals and vacant units. Occupancy verification for most of the units was completed today. Three owners still need to be contacted to verify occupancy.


Fire crews are still on scene to ensure that hot spots remain under control and expect to remain there until tomorrow. The property owner is securing fencing for the site and handling site security. Police will keep the roads closed at least through tonight and likely part of tomorrow.

Fire investigators from Boulder Fire-Rescue and Boulder Police are working to determine the cause and manner of the fire. Investigators have been able to determine that the complex had working smoke detectors and sprinkler system. Anyone who lives at Whittier apartments or has stayed there in the past is asked to call Detective Sharon Ramos at 303-441-3323.

The American Red Cross of the Mile High Area is working to support impacted community members and ensure they have access to valuable services and resources. Anyone who has been displaced by this fire and has not yet reached out to for assistance should go to the Boulder Police Department, located at 1805 33rd St tomorrow from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to connect with staff from the American Red Cross.

At this time, donation efforts are being coordinated by the Mile High Red Cross. For more information, please go to redcross.org/donate, call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669),  or text REDCROSS to 90999. Unfortunately, the Red Cross is not accepting clothing donations currently due to COVID. 

Boulder Fire-Rescue and Boulder Police are grateful for assistance from the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, University of Colorado University Police Department, Boulder Rural Fire Rescue, Louisville Fire Protection District, Mountain View Fire Department, Boulder Emergency Squad and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF).

No additional information is expected this evening.