ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– As investigators try to figure out what caused a massive fire that destroyed an entire building of condos near Thornton, many residents are struggling to make sense of what happened.
Some residents said they heard some kind of explosion at the time the fire started. Investigators don’t know whether the fire was human-caused or an accident but one thing is sure: dozens of people lost everything in the fire.
“I’m here looking for my pets. I have five pets, two are dead, they found their bodies but now I’m looking for three more,” said one resident.
Investigators returned to the condos near 88th and Corona to continue their search for what caused that fire that could be seen for miles on Tuesday. The three-story building suffered significant damage and two other buildings suffered some damage.
The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the search for the cause along with arson dogs.
A total of 12 units were destroyed and six others suffered major damage.
One day after the fire destroyed their homes, residents returned to try to reclaim what they could out of the ashes. They were not allowed to go inside and kept outside a chainlink fence while crews worked to stabilize the buildings.
Investigators were also kept outside because the structure was too hot and too dangerous. They’re searching for the cause and origin of the fire. Residents have heard various rumors.
“I heard a boyfriend and girlfriend and he set the fire, then I heard a father and mother were arguing with a son and the son set the fire… I have no idea what happened,” said resident Rebecca Herrera.
The first building has been officially condemned by the county. The second building damaged in the fire is salvageable but several units are damaged. The building that is condemned will be torn down once the investigation is completed.
Those who live here said they are grateful they escaped unharmed even though some lost everything.
“No human life was lost but a lot of our neighbors with dogs and cats were lost, some beautiful little animals which are like family,” said Herrera.