Westminster Fire responds to second fire at Stratus Townhomes, provides updates on explosion investigations

Posted at 8:33 PM, Feb 25, 2022

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Two days after responding to an explosion and fire at the Stratus Townhomes in Westminster, firefighters were called out to the complex again for another fire at a separate building.

Around 12:50 p.m., Westminster Dispatch received reports of smoke coming from a single townhome unit. The building was separate from the one involved in Wednesday's incident, according to the Westminster Fire Department.

Firefighters arrived four minutes later and quickly extinguished the blaze. No one was home at the time of the fire, and no one was injured.

Investigators are working to determine a cause. Fire officials said there's no evidence at this time that the fire was caused by mechanical equipment.

This is the second fire at the Stratus Townhomes this week. Firefighters were called out around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday for reports of an explosion and fire at an eight-unit building. Two residents and a firefighter suffered minor injuries.

Since Wednesday, Westminster Fire has been called out to the building for reports of smoke and smoldering debris.

Third-party contractors, who were hired by property management, were working in the involved building at the time of the explosion, Westminster Fire confirmed. An investigation is on-going. Officials have not yet determined the explicit cause and origin of the fire.

Since the fire, property management has hired a different third-party contractor to inspect all of the buildings in the complex, fire officials said.

This was thesecond explosion reported in Westminster in two days. On Tuesday, Duane Cameron Doyle, 51, was killed in a house explosion in the 7700 block of Knox Court southeast of the townhome complex.

Tuesday's incident occurred less than two miles from the Stratus explosion. Westminster fire officials said the two are "not believed to be related in any way."

A fire was reported at the same location in April 2021. The structure was boarded up, and Xcel Energy shut off the natural gas and electricity, Westminster Fire said. The city shut off the water later that year.

Since Tuesday's explosion, neighbors have come forward saying there may have been people occupying the home despite it not having utilities, according to fire officials. Authorities are investigating if alternative heating devises that were being used inside the home caused the explosion. An exact cause has not yet been determined.