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Neighbors expressed concern about situation at Westminster home leveled by explosion

One neighbor reported that a man continued to live at the home despite it being condemned after a fire in April.

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Neighbors who live near the home on Knox Court in Westminster that was leveled by an explosion on Tuesday had voiced concerns about activity there since a fire in April.

The home at 7731 Knox Court was heavily damaged by fire on April 8, 2021, to the point which it was condemned, neighbors said.

"The fire department came and boarded it up and put signs on it and everything," said David Brand, who lives across the street.

A spokesperson for Xcel Energy said the home that exploded had not had natural gas or electric service since April, the same month as the fire.

RELATED: Man killed in Westminster home explosion identified

Despite that, Brand said, the homeowner continued to live there.

"The one guy, he was pretty much living there all the time, and his mother would come and go," Brand said. "Bring him food or whatever and stuff."

Around 2:45 a.m. Tuesday, an explosion was reported at the home, which was leveled by the blast. Several nearby homes were damaged and numerous vehicles were totaled by flying debris.

Credit: KUSA

Later that same day, human remains were located. The Adams County Coroner's office identified the victim as 51-year-old Duane Cameron Doyle.

He's listed as an owner, according to property records.

Following the April fire, Westminster police were called to the home or visited the home seven times, according to records obtained by 9NEWS.

The first call for service was placed on May 3, 2021. That call is listed as an Adult Protective Services (APS) report, which generally refers to a senior or another person who is "at risk."

Between the fire in April and the explosion this week, Westminster police were called to the property seven times. 

A call on Oct. 27, 2021, was related to a report of a suspicious person. Details of that call were not immediately available.

Last week, someone called to report a suspicious incident. That call was from Brand.

"I called the police like a week ago," Brand said Tuesday morning. "All the neighbors have been dealing with this for quite a number of years. But I don't know what happened about it. They were still there."

Another neighbor wondered whether more could or should have been done after the fire.

"It's kind of a rough situation over there. I think the city kind of failed to step in and intervene when people were requesting them to at the time," Blaine Leischman said. "Kind of just a tragic scenario, really. Definitely should have gotten more help that they deserved."

The cause of the explosion has not yet been determined, but WFD said Friday that since the explosion, they have received numerous tips from neighbors that someone had been living in the home, even though it didn't have utilities.

Investigators also said they are looking into whether alternative heating devices being used inside the home as a possible cause.

A spokesperson for the fire department also confirmed a possible propane explosion is one of several things investigators are looking into. He said the investigation is expected to be "lengthy."

 Xcel said in a statement that initial safety checks at the property and those adjacent to it found "no indications" of issues within their system.

On Wednesday afternoon, another explosion occurred at Stratus Townhomes, located near West 80th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. Two residents and a firefighter suffered minor injuries. Firefighters said this explosion is not believed to be related in any way to the explosion and fire on Knox Court. 

RELATED: 3 injured in another explosion in Westminster

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