LITTLETON, Colo. — Officials classified a house fire and explosion in Littleton as a “mass casualty incident” after crews responding to the call found multiple people injured on scene.
The call came in sometime around 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Crews from South Metro Fire Rescue responded to a report of an explosion and fire at a home at 5939 South Broadway in Littleton.
Arriving firefighters reported smoke showing from the structure and eight patients were being treated at the scene, South Metro Fire officials tweeted.
"When our firefighters arrived on scene, they did find a lot of smoke volume coming out of the home," said Connor Christian, the public information officer for South Metro Fire Rescue.
After receiving first-aid on scene, six victims were transported to area hospitals where their conditions were described as "stable." Two other people were evaluated and refused transport, Christian said.
South Metro Fire said the fire was located in the home's basement and crews were ventilating the structure. Christian said the explosion was reported before the fire started in the basement.
"I did speak to a person that was in the home and he felt the home actually move when he reported hearing this explosion, and then the fire following," said Christian.
The home is being used as a vacation rental and the owners were not at the address at the time of the incident.
The cause of the explosion and fire is under investigation. However, guests staying at the home said they smelled gas before the explosion occurred.
"People that were here when this initially came through reported an explosion. They also said they were smelling gas before that happened," said Christian.
South Metro Fire Rescue later said that they were unable to confirm the exact ignition source, but they have confirmed there was a gas leak in the home prior to the explosion and fire.
Xcel Energy released the following statement:
"Our thoughts are with the people affected by this incident. We are working with fire officials and emergency responders on the scene, and our emergency responders have completed safety checks of the area to confirm it is safe. We will coordinate with fire officials on the investigation into the cause of the incident. Protecting the safety of the public and our employees is a core value and we take it very seriously."
The extent of the damage to the home is not known at this time.
"You really can't see a lot of the damage of the home from the outside. But a lot of that damage is in the basement on the inside of the home," said Christian.