Coroner identifies workers killed in Emerson construction fire in uptown Denver

DENVER — The bodies of the two victims found in the charred rubble of last week’s massive construction fire were identified.

Roberto Prieto, 29, and Dustin Peterson, 37, were killed when a fire broke out during construction of the Emerson Place project in uptown Denver last Wednesday.

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner released the identities Wednesday, but an official cause of death for both victims are pending investigations.

Around 50 construction workers were inside the five-story building at the time of the inferno. Most were able to escape by leaping from the second and third story of the still uncompleted building. However, Prieto and Peterson were unable to make it out.

Crews discovered Prieto’s body just hours after the fire. Peterson’s body was found the next day. Six other people suffered injuries, including smoke inhalation and burns.

Peterson’s parents told Denver7 that their son was on the third floor where the fire started.

“I texted him 40 minutes before the fire started,” Maureen Peterson said. “I’m upset I didn’t just call him so I could hear his voice one last time. It’s like he went to work and disappeared off the face of the earth.”

Evette Flores Prieto says her husband Roberto was doing insulation work at Emerson Place.

"My husband had said he was going to finish up what he had left then go to lunch," Flores Prieto says she learned from the co-worker. "He never showed up."

Flames and heat damaged at least eight nearby buildings, which remain uninhabitable.

The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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