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Colorado families displaced, victims pulled out of basement following Commerce City fire

2 people in hospital after Colorado house fire
2 people in hospital after Colorado house fire 02:48

It was a gut-wrenching afternoon for some Colorado families living in Commerce City after a home on Kearney Street went up in flames on Monday.


"Honestly, it's something really difficult that we just faced," said Coranda Contreras Castan in Spanish.

Castan lived in one of the units attached to the home with her family.

"There were six people living in our home: my husband, me and four kids," said Castan. "My kids were really scared and now they're really sad because they say we don't have a home now; We don't have a place to live."

The property itself has multiple living units, according to residents who lived inside. They say at least eight or more people were living there.

"I feel bad for my sister-in-law and my brother because they lived there," said Estela Delgado.

Thankfully, people like Delgado's family members were not home at the time the fire broke out. A spokesperson for the South Adams County Fire Department says they responded to the call just before 2 p.m. The flames continued for about two hours as 16 agencies from surrounding jurisdictions responded to the home.

"I was like 'Oh my God.' I didn't know what to do," said Sophia Meniz.

Meniz lives next to the property that burned down. She says she was taking a nap and woke up to the sound of an explosion.

"I'm just glad my dad's house didn't burn down because we wouldn't have anywhere to go," said Meniz.

Residents say they believe was caused by someone barbecuing next to the building. South Adams County Fire Officials say they are still investigating the cause.

"They put too much propane," said Meniz about the people who allegedly were cooking outside of the property. "The fire went up and the whole house started burning down."

As the fire started to grow throughout the house, fire crews learned about two people trapped inside the basement of the structure, one of which they say was handicapped.

"I took a step back and I saw a piece of wood moving -- like going back and forth -- and yelling," said South Adams County Fire Interim Training Chief Andrew Fairband, who went inside the structure.

It was Fairband and his three battalion crew members who led rescue operations. Together they all helped pull out the two victims to safety, despite the challenges.

"It was about a 6 1/2 to 7 foot drop. It was a small basement window," said firefighter Paul Johnston. "I instructed these two guys to get the victims out to chief Fairband and then I went and did another search of the basement to look if there were more people, there weren't any more people inside."

Fire officials did not have any information on how many people were living inside the structure that caught on fire. The American Red Cross was also at the scene assisting people who have since been displaced.

"This is kind of the one thing we have trained for our entire lives and our careers," said Johnston. "That moment happened for us today and we're ready to go to the next one."

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