DENVER (CBS4)– Fire investigators say the cause of the fire of the apartment building under construction at 18th Avenue and Emerson Place is “undetermined” as the investigation continues. Now they’re asking for witnesses to come forward to help them solve the case.

Two people were killed when a 5-story apartment building under construction in North Capitol Hill erupted into flames on March 7.

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“This is still an active and open investigation,” said Denver Fire Cpt. Greg Pixley during a news conference on Wednesday morning.

More than 50 construction workers were at “Emerson Place” when the smoke and flames shot into the sky; some jumped from the second and third floors to escape.

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“The reason the fire spread so quickly is because of the open nature that is created when you have a building under construction and the amount of wood that was available to be affected by the fire,” said Pixley. “In addition to the wood frame construction without any active fire stops.”

“We have ruled out the temporary electrical power provided by electrical cords and power units assisting construction workers inside the building,” said Pixley.

Fire investigators have also ruled out spray foam insulation as a possible cause.

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The radiant heat from the fire affected seven other buildings and damaged 45 vehicles. Ash and debris was found more than a mile away.

Roberto Flores-Prieto (credit: Facebook)

Roberto Flores-Prieto and Dustin Peterson were killed in the 3-alarm fire.

Dustin Peterson (credit: CBS)

In the months since the deadly fire, investigators have received 40 tips and conducted 200 interviews.

PHOTO GALLERY: Fire At Denver Construction Site

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More than 100 firefighters rushed to extinguish the blaze. Four floors collapsed on top of each other, which was a challenge for the fire investigators.

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“Our fire investigators are looking at all the data, anything that is relevant to determine the cause of the fire,” said Pixley.

He urged anyone who has any information about the fire to call the Denver Fire Department Investigations Tipline: 720-337-2828.

The builder released this statement after the Denver Fire Dept. news conference: Vertix Builders continues to mourn the two workers who lost their lives, Dustin Peterson and Roberto Flores. We are thankful for the hard work of the Denver Fire Department as it pursues its investigation of that devastating fire. We will continue to cooperate with the Fire Department on their investigation and we echo the call of Denver Fire Chief Greg Pixley requesting that anyone who has information that has not been shared with investigators to please come forward. The Fire Department Investigators Tipline is 720-337-2828. Vertix Builders reiterates its commitment placing the highest value on the safety of our workers, sub-contractors, and the people who work and live near our projects.

Firefighters are also still investigating what caused a fire that destroyed townhomes under construction in May near Broncos Stadium at Mile High.


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