Construction Workers Jumped For Their Lives As Fire Destroyed Building

By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4) – The massive and destructive fire that broke out at a construction site in Denver Wednesday afternoon killed one person.

(credit: CBS)

More than 50 construction workers were working on the building when it ignited.

(credit: CBS)

“The construction workers became aware of a fire on the third floor and started to work to help one another and to remove each other from that environment,” said Denver Fire spokesman Greg Pixley.

(credit: CBS)

When Denver firefighters arrived, they had their work cut out for them.

“The fire was very significant and produced a tremendous amount of heat. It took us approximately one hour and 20 minutes to get to a point where we were actually able to reduce the volume of fire,” Pixley said.

The fire destroyed dozens of vehicles parked nearby.

(credit: Denver Fire)

(credit: Denver Fire)

One hundred firefighters responded and started rescuing people. Pixley says they also had some help from the community.

“The individuals that worked inside of that medical office assisted our firefighters to remove individuals from the building.”

Fire officials are still looking for one person who is missing. Six people were hurt including one firefighter who suffered minor burns and a construction worker who is in critical condition.

The others were injured trying to escape.

(credit: CBS)

“We also have reports of injuries from individuals not only jumping from the third floor, but individuals that were trying to catch these construction workers,” Pixley said.

The scene is still very dangerous and investigators are still working to figure out how this fire started.

“We’re not going to have any answers today. We’re not even going to have them tomorrow,” Pixley said.

Denver’s Community Planning and Development echoed fire investigators saying the building’s contractors requested multiple inspections as construction phases progressed, and the city performed them without noting anything out of the ordinary. They went further to say the “builder’s contractor license is in good standing and we have no documentation of complaints about this site. Permits all appear to be in order.”

RELATED: 1 Dead, 1 Missing In Building Under Construction Fire | Evacuation Center Activated For Major Downtown Fire

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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