BLACK HAWK, Colo. (CBS4) – The Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office says a butane tank explosion is blamed for a house fire that left one man and a dog with burns.

Butane fire in Black Hawk (credit: Gilpin Co. Sheriff)

Butane fire in Black Hawk (credit: Gilpin Co. Sheriff)

Neighbors called in the fire about 11:16 a.m. Sunday when they saw flames from a home at 412 Chalet Drive in Black Hawk.

Neighbor Ryan Erickson saw a man trying to exit a window from the home and ran to help. He was able to pull the injured man away from the burning home.

“He probably would have lost his life if it wasn’t for those neighbors and those passersby that stopped and helped him,” Cherokee Blake with the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office said.

Erickson said he heard a loud popping sound coming from the home across the street.
When he went to check it out he saw smoke billowing from his neighbor’s front door.

“I called to see if anybody needed any help. I shouted several times and finally a gentleman was half-hanging out of the basement window,” Erickson said. “He didn’t want me to move him at first, and then I just saw that the house was going up in flames and pulled him out of the window.”

A minute after Erickson got his neighbor to safety the home started to collapse.

“The whole ceiling sunk in like it melted and flames were engulfed out the top,” he said.

The victim was rushed to St. Anthony Hospital in the Denver metro area with burns to his hands.

A dog at the home was singed. He was treated by crews at the scene but then taken to a veterinarian.

A dog was burned in the butane explosion in Black Hawk (credit: Gilpin Co. Sheriff)

A dog was burned in the butane explosion in Black Hawk (credit: Gilpin Co. Sheriff)

Erickson says he was just being a good neighbor.

“We live up here in the mountains and there’s a lot of space between neighbors, but we are all here for each other,” he said.

Investigators are trying to find what caused the tank to explode.

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