NewsDenver7 | Investigates


Firefighters say Emerson fire investigation winding down; cause to be announced soon

Findings to be announced at news conference
Posted at 6:16 PM, May 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 14:47:00-04

DENVER – Denver Fire Department investigators are nearing the end of their months-long investigation into what started the fire at an apartment complex on Emerson Street that was under construction.

The fire on Mar. 7 killed two construction workers who were trapped inside.

The fire department plans to announce whether the fire was accidental or arson at a news conference. Fire investigators could also announce that they cannot determine a cause.

The date for the media announcement has not been announced, but two people inside the department tell investigative reporter Jace Larson the announcement is expected within the next few weeks.

Investigators have combed through what they call “a large amount of video” and have been corroborating witness’ statements.

Denver Fire Department Chief Eric Tade previously said the physical evidence from the fire scene is enormous.

Roberto Prieto, 29, and Dustin Peterson, 37, were killed when the fire broke out at the Emerson Place project in uptown Denver.

More than 50 construction workers were inside the five-story building at the time of the inferno. Some escaped by leaping from the second and third story of the uncompleted building. However, Prieto and Peterson were unable to make it out.

*Editors note: This story has been updated to note "some" workers leaped from second and third floors, instead of "many."