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Residents Say They Smelled Gas For Weeks Before Explosion

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An image of the damage from the explosion (credit: CBS)

An image of the damage from the explosion (credit: CBS)

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – Residents of a Westminster apartment complex where an explosion serious injured a man told CBS4 they had been smelling gas for weeks and even mentioned it to the manager.

Boarded up windows and a warning sign mark the spot where the massive gas explosion in the Lakeview Apartments laundry room happened.

The blast on Sunday morning shredded the jacket of Kane Deden’s brother and left him in serious condition.

“The body is okay, only the face is burned. The hand terrible,” Deden said.

On Tuesday fellow residents at the Lakeview Apartments told CBS4 they also smelled gas several weeks ago in the laundry room.

“I was here with my friends and it smelled like gas around the laundry. I didn’t think it was important then,” resident Edgar Morales said.

Alondra Marta said her family called the manager.

“I smelled the gas and we called the office and told them, and they shut the laundry for two days,” Marta said.

Kane Deden's brother's jacket (credit: CBS)

Kane Deden’s brother’s jacket (credit: CBS)

The managers are not talking about the problem, but investigator Diana Wilson says the fire department was never called.

“Some residents said they had smelled gas before, complained about it and nothing was done. Who they complained to, I’m not sure. We heard about that after the fact, after the actual fire people said, ‘We had smelled gas,’ “ Wilson said.

Wilson said no foul play is suspected, but there are still some questions.

“We do know that it was a gas explosion from the dryers that caused the explosions, but what ignited the gas we’re not completely sure of yet,” Wilson said.

As the investigation continues all 40 units in the building have been evacuated indefinitely. The Red Cross is caring for 21 people. Power is expected to be off for at least the next three to five days.

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