More than 350 residents still displaced Monday after Aurora apartment explosion blows wall out of complex

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AURORA | More than 350 residents of a central Aurora apartment complex remain forced from their homes after an explosion inside the large complex blew a large hole through an outside wall Saturday morning.

Three people were injured, possibly from flying debris during the explosion, witnesses and officials said. All sustained minor injuries, fire officials said.

Some residents said fire officials were reporting structural damage to the building’s foundation.

“Initial reports indicate 216 apartments and 350 people have been impacted,” according to American Red Cross officials, responding to the scene. “We have opened an emergency shelter at Gateway High School.”

Red Cross officials said anyone affected by the incident can visit the evacuation center for aid.

“Volunteers are standing by to provide comfort and care,” Red Cross officials said in a statement. “Disaster health and mental health services as well as individual disaster assistance and feeding services are available.”

Residents were allowed 30 minutes on Sunday to retrieve personal items, taking turns at appointed times depending on which of five floors they live on. It’s unclear when some or any of the residents will be able to return to their apartments.

“There were more than 100 individuals, 16 dogs, 8 cats and 1 bird being provided comfort and care at the evacuation center which was opened at Gateway High School,” Aurora Fire and Rescue spokesperson Sherri-Jo Stowell said in a statement.

Hours after the explosion, some people living the complex were in bathrobes or under Red Cross blankets waiting to hear about retrieving personal items or temporary housing, residents waiting outside said.

Calls from The Sentinel to apartment property managers were not returned.

Aurora Fire and Rescue said they were called to Parkside Collective Apartments at 14565 E. Alameda Ave. just before 10 a.m. to investigate reports of smoke.

“On arrival, crews began searching for hazards when an explosion occurred,” fire officials said in a tweet.

The blast caused a large hole in the wall outside of the complex.

Resident Matt Lynn tweeted this video.

“At this time it is unknown what the exact origin of the explosion was but all searches have been negative, and all crews have mitigated hazards and are out of the structure at this time awaiting assistance with utilities control,” fire officials said.

Another video taken just after the explosion occurred:

 On Saturday, some residents said the air inside or near the complex smelled of sulfur.

 

 

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Omen Cross
Omen Cross
2 months ago

This is terrible. My thoughts and prayers with all those affected. It is my greatest Hope that you all will be allowed to safely gather your things at some point before looters break in and steal them. But even worse, now Aurora has hundreds more people displaced on the streets. The pallet houses are full, the shelters won’t hold them all. Not all have families, friends, or help to go to. Now is the time City Council. Stand up and save these people, do not bicker and fight as you did when it was just me. Or the next City Hall Metting will have hundreds of people complaining about this city’s treatment of those in need. Do what I told you to months ago. Work to save people, not ignore them.

Last thing, big thanks and respect to all the First Responders, Red Cross workers, volunteers, and anybody else helping ensure these people aren’t just left cold and alone tonight. This is one of the times where this City and it’s people need Angels such as yourselves to save them. If I have my way, it’ll be those such as yourselves awarded with my new idea, which they still haven’t set into motion.