AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Workers drilling underground pathways struck buried natural gas lines at a senior living community in east suburban Denver shortly before a fatal explosion that burned several homes.

Aurora Fire Rescue spokeswoman Sherri-Jo Stowell tells The Denver Post firefighters were at Heather Gardens Friday investigating a gas leak when the explosion occurred. The blast killed 82-year-old Carol Ross.

aurora fire3 Underground Drilling Caused Gas Leak, May Have Led To Blast

(credit: CBS)

Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz said Friday’s leak, and another last Wednesday, were caused by the same contractor, which he declined to identify.

aurora fire complex Underground Drilling Caused Gas Leak, May Have Led To Blast

(credit: CBS)

Comcast Colorado spokeswoman Leslie Oliver said Monday its contractor was working on a fiber-optic project at Heather Gardens, but did not say whether that work was connected to the gas leaks.aurora fire map frame 882 Underground Drilling Caused Gas Leak, May Have Led To Blast

Stowell says it could be weeks before an investigation determines whether the gas leak caused the fatal explosion.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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