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Heather Gardens turned back over to HOA 2 months after fire, explosion

The Nov. 16 explosion and fire killed Resident Carol Ross and injured two others. A section of townhouses were also destroyed.
Credit: KUSA
Fire at Heather Gardens

AURORA, Colo. — Two months after a fire and explosion killed one person and left two others injured at a retirement community in Aurora, the location has been turned back over the homeowner's association.

A release from Aurora Fire Rescue says that the department has finished the portion of their investigation that required them to keep control of the scene. The area was released to the community's homeowners association Thursday afternoon.

RELATED: Heather Gardens rubble investigation likely to take weeks or months

Aurora Fire says they are still investigating the exact cause and origin of the incident and do not have any new findings to release at this time.  

On Nov. 16, the Aurora Fire Department responded to the senior living community for reports of a gas leak. The fire department said moments after they arrived, there was an explosion and a fire.

RELATED: Gas-fed fire, explosion at Heather Gardens in Aurora leaves 1 dead, 2 others injured

Resident Carol Ross, 82, was killed in the explosion. A firefighter and one other person were injured.

RELATED: Remembering Carol Ross, a victim of the Heather Gardens explosion

RELATED: 'The house imploded on us:' Couple survives explosion at their Heather Gardens duplex

Prior to that fire, documents requested by 9NEWS and provided by the Aurora Fire Department show firefighters were called to assist with four gas leaks dating back to Oct. 23. 

RELATED: Firefighters were called to numerous gas leaks weeks prior to Heather Gardens explosion

“That’s an unusual coincidence in my opinion in a small geographic area,” said Kevin Hammons, a former Aurora Fire Deputy Chief and current fire science lecturer at Metropolitan State University.

Hammons said although responding to gas leaks is fairly common, he found these reports interesting because of how close in proximity and time they all were.

Residents were also warned about a “major gas leak” on the property two days prior to the explosion, according to an email notice obtained by 9NEWS.

RELATED: Heather Gardens sent retirees vital information about a gas leak via email

RELATED: Email warned Heather Gardens residents of 'major gas leak' days before fire

The email from Heather Gardens Security warned residents not to “light any matches, lighters, candles, or use anything that could cause a spark.”

Mark Stutz, a spokesperson for Xcel Energy said in a statement that the two leaks were not related but were "both were caused by a non-Xcel Energy contractor working for a third party." The statement went on to read: "The Wednesday leak occurred in a different section of the same neighborhood and was repaired the same day."

A Heather Gardens release also said that the two leaks were not related.

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