3 injured, 300 displaced after explosion at Colorado apartment complex

AURORA, Colo. — Three people were injured and at least 300 residents were displaced on Saturday after an explosion rocked a Colorado apartment complex, authorities said.

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Aurora Fire Rescue responded to reports of smoke at the Parkside Collective Apartments at about 9:57 a.m. MDT, KMGH-TV reported. Firefighters were searching for hazards when an explosion ripped out an exterior wall, according to The Denver Post.

“I just ran out as soon as I heard the explosion,” Xerek Segura, a resident at the complex, told KDVR-TV.

“I wonder(ed) what the safe distance to watch a fire is, next thing I know I just hear a bang,” another resident, Phillip Oransky, told the television station. “I see debris flying, there’s people lined against the Cheba Hut over there. First thing I can think is: not the safe distance.”

Alison Goodwin, another resident, said she heard the explosion after evacuating her building.

“So I started walking by and then I heard a loud noise,” Goodwin told KMGH. “I just kept walking and saying (to myself), ‘Don’t look back! Don’t look back! That’s your life in there. That’s your kid. It’s all your kid’s clothes.’ So I kept walking.”

At least 300 people in the five-story building were displaced after the fire and explosion, the Post reported.

The three people injured in the explosion were taken to area hospitals for treatment, according to KMGH. Their injuries are not considered severe.

Authorities said the explosion happened near electrical equipment, an elevator and utility meters, KUSA-TV reported.

According to fire officials, the Red Cross is aiding residents and helping them find long-term accommodations.

The cause of the explosion and fire is under investigation, authorities said.