Floor collapses and hits gas line during late night college party

Unit goes up in flames
Posted at 2:45 PM, Feb 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-12 20:36:10-05

DENVER, Colo. – A night of partying for a large group of college students didn’t end well on Saturday night.

Adams County Fire officials were called to 5233 Grove Street near Regis University on reports of a floor collapse with the smell of gas.

“It sounded like an earthquake or a bomb, or something. It was crazy,” Sawyer Lincoln told Denver7.

Lincoln said he shares a wall with the unit where this happened, adding he heard the commotion and knew he had to do something. “We ran over to start pulling people out of the ditch,” he said.

The Regis University student said he saw roughly 20 to 30 people who had fallen through the floor.

Fortunately, no injuries were reported by party-goers or first responders.

People living in the area said they counted hundreds of party goers leaving Unit 7. “There had to be at least 200,” neighbor Joshua Johnson told Denver7. “I just couldn’t believe there’s that many people in there.”

On Sunday, Battalion Chief Mark Schuman with Adams County Fire said the department may never know how many people were at the party. In a press conference, Schuman said, “We know that the occupancy was full, but we don’t have an actual count.”

When asked what maximum capacity might be for a unit like the one involved, Schuman said, “Unfortunately, in a private residence we have no control over the occupancy.”

County officials said the floor collapsed and fell roughly three or four feet below, into a crawl space where the gas lines were. They also reported an associated fire.

“We don't know whether the fire started prior to that and caused the damage to the floor. Or if the floor collapsed and the fire was attributed to the gas leak. We don't know at this time,” said Schuman.

In total, three units were condemned by the county, including Lincoln’s. He said his neighbors have since apologized, “It's unfortunate that it occurred, but 'I'm sorry,' doesn't really help me at all in the long run, unfortunately.”

Officials report a ceiling and a wall also collapsed in the unit where the party was held.

Adams County officials said their investigation is on-going.


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