By Melissa Garcia

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Investigators have determined that a cooking accident is what led to a deadly apartment fire in Aurora.

(credit: Aurora Fire Department)

(credit: Aurora Fire Department)

The fire broke out shortly after 2 a.m. Friday in a third floor unit at the Ponderosa Villas Apartments on Galena Way near East Florida Avenue.


A neighbor took video on his cellphone of the building as flames shot through the roof.

Ten hours after battling the fierce blaze CBS4 captured video of firefighters finally hosing themselves off.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Residents described how they were startled awake when they heard what sounded like an explosion.

Dana Clarke looked out of her apartment window to see firefighters putting their lives on the line.

“Climbing up the ladder, trying to rescue (people). They were so close to the fire. I could not believe what I was seeing with my own eyes,” said Clarke.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Crews found propane tanks on the balcony of the unit where the fire began.

The woman who lived in the unit was taken to a local hospital and died from her injuries.

A dog that was trapped inside the apartment made a remarkable escape.

“I saw two officers (saying) ‘come here boy, come here,'” said Alison Campbell, a witness.

She saw the dog jump down from three stories high.

Seeing the blaze so close to home had Campbell and her son Jaden feeling grateful for their lives.

“It’s really very scary, especially when you have a child, to think that, as close as we are, the fire could have jumped over to our building,” she said.

Firefighters were able to keep the blaze contained to one unit, but two units below suffered extensive water damage.

Four adults and one child were forced to find somewhere else to stay.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to


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