By Kelly Werthmann

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A three-alarm fire burned three townhomes and damaged another in Aurora on Monday afternoon.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Fire crews rushed to 1244 South Zeno Way on reports of a fire just after 3 p.m. Monday near East Mississippi Avenue and South Buckley Road.

“The roof was completely destroyed,” Javier Estrada who lives in one of the damaged units told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

According to the Aurora Fire Department, the fire was caused by unattended charcoal briquettes.

“They had taken their briquettes after they used their smoker or grill, put them in a plastic bag and put that in a plastic trash can,” Lt. Laurie Bridges with AFD said. “That ignited the fire on the deck. It wouldn’t have been as bad if we didn’t have such high winds.”

It’s believed the briquettes were left in Kenneth Cherry’s backyard. An investigation is ongoing, but he apologized to his neighbors.

“I feel really bad,” Cherry said. “I feel bad for the families because we all look out for each other.”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Some residents were home at the time of the fire, but were able to escape and nobody was injured.

Estrada was at school when the fire broke out. He said his neighbor called him saying his home was on fire.

“The first thing that popped up was my dogs,” Estrada said.

His three dogs were saved, but were shaken up by the commotion.

Other neighbors returned to find their belongings ruined or badly charred. Cherry made sure to help in any way he could.

“We lost everything except for our clothes,” Cherry said. “I just don’t know what to say right now.”

The Red Cross is helping the fire victims as the townhomes are inhabitable.

Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.

  1. Robert Gift says:

    How incredibly stupid.
    We reuse our briquettes by dropping them in a metal coffee can of water.Then pour the water out.

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