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2 Girls Burned In Fire, Explosion At Duplex

By Jamie Leary

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) - Fire investigators and Xcel Energy crews are at a duplex in Commerce City after an explosion and fire sent two girls to the hospital.

The girls, whose ages are 15 and 11, were rushed to Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora after the blast. Their mother and father were home when the blast happened. They were not injured.

Neighbors told CBS4 the girls were seriously burned.

"I saw the girls who had skin hanging off of their arms," Randy Martinez, a neighbor, said.

fire, explosion in commerce city
(credit: CBS)

Fire fighters responded to the duplex on the 6900 block of Weiman Court just before 7 a.m. for what was described as a flash fire.

Their neighbors who live directly next to them, the Muriz family, woke up when the blast happened, and got out as quickly as possible.

"She was screaming, 'Hurry up, hurry up' and she was rushing me," said witness Fernando Muriz about his mother coming into his room.

Copter4 flew over the home where the explosion happened (credit: CBS)

"When I say flash fire, what I am looking at is, we had a possible gas fuel source that was ignited that basically burned up that source. From there it did not spread to other combustibles inside the building." Said Randall Weigum, South Adams County Fire Marshall.

(credit: CBS)

The home's windows were shattered by the explosion, neighbors said a wall fell down as well. From the outside the home didn't appear to be heavily damaged.

Due to the ongoing investigation, investigators could not elaborate on the fuel source that caused the fire and small explosion but did say the fire happened in a bedroom were the girls were.

"My first thought was if this could be like what happened in Firestone, because oil and gas companies aren't responsible, but I don't think there are any abandoned lines around here," Martinez said.

(credit: CBS)

Xcel Energy crews have detected natural gas in and around the duplex. South Adams County firefighters are going door to door, canvassing homes in the neighborhood to answer questions and concerns of those who live nearby. Xcel crews do not believe there is a leak or threat to the area.

The current condition of the girls is unknown. Two families with a total of 10 people are displaced, Red Cross is assisting.

Weigum believes the home can be repaired and that it is structurally sound.

(credit: CBS)

Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015. She is currently the morning show reporter, which means she is always on the go, covering a wide variety of breaking local news and important local events. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.

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