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3 injured in another explosion in Westminster

Three people suffered minor injuries and everyone is believed to be accounted for after the explosion and fire at the Stratus Townhomes.

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — A day after a home exploded in Westminster, the fire department said they responded to another report of an explosion in the city, this time at a townhome complex.

The explosion and ensuing fire were reported at the Stratus Townhomes, located near West 80th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard, just after 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. The fire was brought under control by 2:20 p.m. 

The fire department said two residents were treated on the scene for minor injuries. A firefighter also sustained a minor injury and was evaluated at the hospital. 

There are eight units in the building where the explosion happened. Police believe everyone from the townhomes is accounted for but has been displaced as a result of the damage. The Red Cross is working to help those displaced by the fire. 

A large plume of smoke was visible in the area while the fire was active.

Animals missing

The Westminster Fire Department said five animals are missing due to the fire. They asked anyone who is missing a pet to contact animal management at 303-658-4326.

The fire department said a black and white male pitbull was found between buildings 17 and 18 and taken to the Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden.


Residents in buildings 16, 17, 18 and 19 were originally told by firefighters to evacuate as a precaution. 

By around 4:30 p.m., residents in building 17 were allowed to return home. Residents in building 19, except those in units B, C, G, and H, can also return home. Those four units still have high levels of carbon monoxide that needs to be ventilated, firefighters said.

A portion of Sheridan Boulevard was closed while crews worked to contain the fire.

Kayle Luna, who lives with her brother, sister and mother in the building right next to where the explosion happened, said she heard the explosion. 

“I was actually at school, when I was doing homework I had for college, and I had just exited out of my assignment," she said. "And I had actually heard the explosion, which I thought maybe was a car crash."

Her brother Josh, who was sleeping, didn't hear the explosion but was woken up by yelling from outside the window.

“I just heard our neighbor, he was screaming, and I got out," he said. 

Kayle and Josh said they quickly grabbed their four dogs and evacuated. Their building ended up being blocked off and told to evacuate.

“It was kind of worrying for me, and I just didn’t worry about myself or anything else that was going on besides the pets that we have," Kayle said.

Their sister, Ariel, picked them up as she was arriving from work so they could keep themselves and their pets warm. 

They said they will likely plan to stay with a family member in the Brighton area until they're able to get back into their home. 

Investigation into cause

Investigators have begun looking into the cause of the explosion and fire. Firefighters said the investigation will likely take a long time due to the size of the building. 

Firefighters said there were contractors working at the complex at the time of the fire. It's not yet known whether that work was related to the explosion.

Second explosion in two days 

This is the second explosion Westminster authorities have responded to this week. The other one was less than two miles away.

PREVIOUS: Suspected human remains found inside Westminster home leveled by explosion

A cadaver dog alerted to possible human remains inside the home that was leveled by an explosion early Tuesday morning in the 7700 block of Knox Court, according to the Westminster Police Department (WPD).

Firefighters said the Stratus Townhomes fire is not believed to be related in any way to the fire on Knox Court. 

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