Investigators: ‘Undetermined’ Cause Of 18th & Emerson Construction Fire

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DENVER (CBS4)– Fire investigators say the cause of the fire of the apartment building under construction at 18th Avenue and Emerson Place is “undetermined” as the investigation continues. Now they’re asking for witnesses to come forward to help them solve the case.

Two people were killed when a 5-story apartment building under construction in North Capitol Hill erupted into flames on March 7.

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“This is still an active and open investigation,” said Denver Fire Cpt. Greg Pixley during a news conference on Wednesday morning.

More than 50 construction workers were at “Emerson Place” when the smoke and flames shot into the sky; some jumped from the second and third floors to escape.

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“The reason the fire spread so quickly is because of the open nature that is created when you have a building under construction and the amount of wood that was available to be affected by the fire,” said Pixley. “In addition to the wood frame construction without any active fire stops.”

“We have ruled out the temporary electrical power provided by electrical cords and power units assisting construction workers inside the building,” said Pixley.

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The radiant heat from the fire affected seven other buildings and damaged 45 vehicles. Ash and debris was found more than a mile away.

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Roberto Flores-Prieto (credit: Facebook)

Roberto Flores-Prieto and Dustin Peterson were killed in the 3-alarm fire.

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Dustin Peterson (credit: CBS)

In the months since the deadly fire, investigators have received 40 tips and conducted 200 interviews.

PHOTO GALLERY: Fire At Denver Construction Site

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More than 100 firefighters rushed to extinguish the blaze. Four floors collapsed on top of each other, which was a challenge for the fire investigators.

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“Our fire investigators are looking at all the data, anything that is relevant to determine the cause of the fire,” said Pixley.

He urged anyone who has any information about the fire to call the tip line at the Denver Fire Department: 720-337-2828.

denver.cbslocal.com

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