A large fire burned a building on the future site of a new H&M at the Streets of SouthGlenn on Thursday.
The mall is in Centennial on University Boulevard and Arapahoe Road.
Littleton Fire Department Chief Doug Ireland said the building was scheduled for demolition and had workers inside cutting steel. One of the embers from their work ignited the insulation inside the building and the fire spread quickly.
"Once the fire was discovered, it was too hot to extinguish with the onsite fire extinguishers and the water truck," property spokesman Bryan McFarland. "At 11:32, Littleton Fire was called, and they arrived onsite two minutes later. The fire was then contained within approximately 30 minutes."
Video from the scene showed a large plume of dark smoke rising from behind Whole Foods.
"I looked out my window and within seconds it was black smoke everywhere. It went very fast," said Jeff Howell, who works nearby. "That was what was most alarming about it, it was how quickly how everything, black smoke was everywhere."
"I looked out and it's all black and I thought it was a storm moving in. I looked across the street and building is on fire," said Effie Kavadas, owner of Effie's Home Boutique. "The fire was everywhere, we could see it from here and all the fire men started taking down the green fence around the building."
Kavadas also described hearing a boom before the fire started.
Ireland also said the shops across the street from the fire are closed. Employees of a Whole Foods store in an interconnected building also said that business was closed.
One of the workers inside the construction site was taken to a hospital for smoke inhalation, Ireland said.
There was another fire at the Streets of SouthGlenn last year that also sent a worker to the hospital with smoke inhalation.
A generator on the roof malfunctioned and caused the roof of Macy's to catch on fire in August 2011.
A woman working inside Macy's was exposed to smoke. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.