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Tenants Say Apartment Owners Need To Make Amends After Explosion

DENVER (CBS4) - After six days with no heat, gas and water residents at Denver's The Acacia apartments have had enough.

"I just want to tell them to take a hike and find a new place to live," said tenant Jacob Ernest.

On Nov. 2, after days of tenants complaining of a gas smell, an explosion rocked the complex on 14th and Logan.

Possible Explosion
(credit: CBS)

The blast erupted in Stephanie Petrinostro's room. She told CBS4's Tom Mustin she lit a candle and barely escaped with her life.

"It was an explosion, followed by a fire. I was in the garden level. It happened in my apartment," she said.

Stephanie grabbed a comforter and covered her head. She suffered serious burns, but somehow managed to escape along with her dog Cole.

"Cole has superficial ulcers in his eyes caused by smoke damage and a little bit of a cough," she said.

On Monday fire crews arrived at the Acaia after more complaints of a natural gas smell. By Monday afternoon, firefighters gave the all-clear.

Brad Allen says with plunging temperatures, many tenants are living elsewhere. Allen contacted management, saying under Colorado law the apartments are uninhabitable.

"I sent an email asking if they would help, how much they were knocking off our rent and if they would pay for our hotel. And I got a really snarky response," Allen said.

RELATED: An Open Letter From The Tenants To The Owners Of The Acacia Apartments

The maintenance manager would not talk on camera, but said the following statement would suffice:

"The owner is not planning on giving discounts on rent for this month. Acacia will not pay for hotels either. If you wish to file a claim with your renters insurance, that is your prerogative."

Arson investigators told CBS4 they are still looking into the cause of the blast, but tenants say after six days it's time for answers.

"I'm sick of it. I've lived here three-and-a-half years and this is over the line," said tenant James Davis.

As of Monday night, gas had been restored to the apartments. Several tenants told us they are still planning to file for some sort of compensation.

Tom Mustin is CBS4's Weekend Anchor. He has been with CBS4 since 2002, and is always looking for great story ideas. Follow Tom on Twitter @TomCBS4.

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