AURORA, Colo. — The former Parkside Collective in Aurora is accepting new lease applications under a new name eight months after an explosion forced hundreds of tenants to find new places to live.
The explosion punched a hole in an exterior wall of the apartment near the corner of East Alameda Avenue and Sable Boulevard in September. The fire department said it responded to reports of smoke in the building before the explosion occurred.
According to a fire investigation report released to 9NEWS Wednesday, the smoke was caused by an electrical arc that started a fire in a conduit underneath a sidewalk. Burning PVC pipe let off gases including hydrogen, which collected in the electrical room, where static electricity sparked the explosion.
"It was just a loud combustion in my ears," said Ash Fox, a former tenant who witnessed the explosion. "It was a mess for sure."
In the days following, 300 to 400 people were forced to find new places to live. Some reported robbers had broken into their apartments in their absence and stolen their belongings.
Aurora Fire Rescue investigating explosion at apartment complex
"The whole process of watching my home explode, getting robbed right after, struggling to find a place while living in a hotel, it just wasn’t fun," Fox said.
She said tenants were given $1,000, a partial rent refund and a couple of days in a hotel.
"I am upset that they couldn’t do more for us, but they could rebuild the building within seven months," Fox said. "Now they’re reopening it, but they couldn’t do more for us."
Leases are available starting June 2, according to the property website. The property management company did not respond to a request for comment.
The new name and apartment availability were first reported by the Aurora Sentinel.
A City of Aurora spokesperson said final inspections on the completed repair were scheduled for this week.
"I knew it was inevitable because otherwise it would just be a building just sitting here," Fox said.
She has found a new place to live and is part of a class action lawsuit against the management company. She said she wouldn't move back.
"They are nice apartments, but I still don’t fully trust it," she said.
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