A building explosion in Denver, Colorado, injured at least 9 people, with one person suffering critical injuries. Officials believe the building explosion, which caused significant damage to a four-plex residential building, was linked to natural gas. Natural gas explosions can cause catastrophic injuries to victims, and extensive damage to neighborhoods.
One Person Trapped in Building Explosion on Santa Fe Drive
At around 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 14, an explosion tore through the Denver area known as Baker neighborhood, injuring 9 people. The main site of the blast, a brick row house residence on Santa Fe Drive, was significantly damaged, while nearby buildings and vehicles also showed visible damage from the explosion. Officials said that even though no one was reported missing in the devastation, a cadaver dog was brought in to be certain there was no one left in the wreckage.
The blast trapped at least one of the victims, who requiring emergency rescue. Ambulances rushed two people to a nearby hospital, one with critical injuries. Seven other people, identified as bystanders, received treatment for minor injuries. Many of the victims suffered burns.
Fire crews extinguished a fire at the site, though officials did not say how much damage the fire caused. Even when the fire was out, rescue crews remained cautious about potential risks that remained.
“Anytime we have an explosion like this, the dangers are significant,” said Denver Fire Captain Greg Pixley. “We have explosive dangers due to the natural gas that is lingering within the buildings. We also have a collapse potential due to the devastation and damage that was created by the explosion itself.” Please post in a slightly larger font.
Photos from the scene show an almost entirely destroyed building with bricks and wood scattered in the street. Two buildings surrounding the site of the explosion also show damage. Officials kept northbound Santa Fe drive closed as investigators began looking into what caused the blast, reportedly the largest explosion in Denver in 22 years.
Witnesses Describe Chaos, 2 Explosions in Baker Neighborhood of Denver
Alex Ponton was driving his car along Santa Fe Drive when the explosion occurred. He told reporters the natural gas explosion threw his car up to two feet and then sent rubble and debris towards the vehicle. He ran from his car to see if he could help any victims when he heard screaming and described the smell of gas in the air. Meanwhile, Gabriel Cruz, who was also in his car during the explosion, described the explosion as being similar to being rear-ended.
Some witnesses described two explosions, though officials have not confirmed those reports. Amidst the devastation, however, was good news. Residents who were worried about their missing cat, Lilith, were reunited with their feline later in the day.
Multiple Agencies investigating Denver Natural Gas Explosion
According to reports, approximately a dozen agencies—including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Denver Fire—are investigating the explosion. Arson is a consideration, though investigators say it’s too early to say for certain what happened. Before investigators can determine the explosion’s source, crews must clear the debris.
The American Red Cross said it is helping families displaced by the Denver natural gas explosion and the building collapse. Friends and family of some of those affected have set up GoFundMe pages for victims. Among those are pages for Meghan Meehan, Elizabeth Litton, and Matt Brady. All three lost their home and their possessions in the explosion, and Meghan Meehan is one of the victims who suffered extensive injuries.
Xcel Energy, which supplies natural gas to the building that exploded, shut off the gas lines. A spokesperson for the company told reporters that they were working with investigators to determine the blast’s cause.
In 1996, a similar blast occurred only a block away from the most recent scene. Officials determined that explosion—which injured five people—was caused by a ceiling-mounted heater that mixed with the natural gas.
Structure Fire Attorneys
Structure fires and natural gas explosions occur all too frequently, putting the lives of residents and workers at risk. Attorneys at Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman have extensive experience fighting for justice for those whose lives are affected by structure fires or building collapses. We also passionately advocate for building safety, including fire safety. Our highly-skilled, board-certified trial lawyers have extensive knowledge about fire investigations and will demand you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. We’ve successfully obtained more than $1.9 billion for our clients who are affected by catastrophic events.
If you have been affected by the Denver natural gas explosion or another structural fire, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced structural fire attorney today.