Flames, Thick Smoke Chase People From Townhouse Complex

By Lauren DiSpirito

DENVER (CBS4) – A large fire has displaced residents of a southeast Denver townhouse complex.

On Wednesday afternoon firefighters responded to the Artisan complex at 10025 Girard Avenue in Denver near the Kennedy Golf Course. When they arrived, flames were coming out of the windows and doors of a two-story building on the property.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS) (credit: CBS)

People ran out of their homes and firefighters evacuated people who were still inside.

Witnesses say the fire sent thick, black smoke into the air, blocking out sunlight. People who live in the complex say they heard some kind of explosion shortly before seeing flames.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“All of the sudden we heard a boom,” said Jermal Lewis, who lives in the building where the fire started.

“The whole side of a building was burnt to a crisp, on the back side of the building all the glass was blown out,” said Dylan Esposito, who witnessed the fire.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Denver Fire Lt. Ahmid Nunn said a dozen rigs responded to the fire. They had trouble accessing the building, which is located in the back of the apartment and townhome complex. Firefighters stopped the fire before it could spread to other buildings.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries and was transported to the hospital.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The American Red Cross also responded to the scene to assist displaced residents. In all, four homes were damaged, and two of them were vacant

Nunn said firefighters were still investigating the cause of the fire.

Lauren DiSpirito reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. She covers breaking news and feature stories along Colorado’s Front Range. Follow her on Twitter @CBS4Lauren. Share your story ideas with her here.

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