AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– A fire burned homes after a gas explosion a retirement community in Aurora on Friday evening. One firefighter and one civilian injured in the fire were rushed to the hospital.
Copter4 flew over the fire at Heather Gardens on E. Linvale Place near Yale Avenue just after 6 p.m. There was an explosion at the complex. The fire burned two paired homes.
Aurora Fire Lt. Laure Bridges said that the fire started in what is called a “patio home” or “paired home” and that it was a “gas-fed fire.” Once the gas was shut off, firefighters were able to put out the fire.
Fire officials say they are aware of some construction happening near where the fire occurred but cannot confirm the cause of the gas leak.
Neighbors say the smell of gas was so strong that it had taken over the area before the explosion happened.
“I went outside, I was getting ready to go to the store and I could smell the gas and I went, ‘Wow, that’s strong,'” said one resident.
Neighbors were warned of a gas leak just a couple of days ago. Xcel Energy clarified an “event” on Wednesday is not related to the fire on Friday.
The area was evacuated and a Red Cross shelter set up at the Heather Gardens clubhouse.
Heather Gardens is for “active seniors” according to its website.
What caused the fire is still being investigated. Both the firefighter and the other person injured suffered “non-life threatening injuries.”
Residents who were displaced due to the fire can call (303) 751-1811 to check if they are able to return home.