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Family of woman killed in Heather Gardens explosion mourning her loss

Posted at 8:19 AM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 14:15:29-05

AURORA, Colo. — As residents of a senior living complex in Aurora wait for answers as to what caused a deadly explosion Friday, the family of the woman who died is mourning her loss.

The fire at the Heather Gardens senior living complex Friday night injured two people, including a firefighter, and killed one woman.

She was identified as 82-year-old Carol Ross. Her son spoke briefly with Denver7 and said the family is still processing the tragedy and making final preparations.

The family was not ready to share Ross’ story on camera, but offered a statement to Denver7 reading, “We are shocked and saddened at the events of Friday night. The loss of my mother is devastating to our entire family, and we are gathering from around the globe to deal with our grief in private.”

Ross’s family members are trying to come to Colorado from overseas to say their goodbyes to Ross, who was a retired nurse.

Her son Derek Ross also sent Denver7 a picture of her — one of his favorites, he said — that was taken recently, they believe, while Ross was on a cruise.

“We are uplifted by the great outpouring of support and love from our friends and the entire Heather Gardens community, where Mom was especially loved,” the statement finished.

But as they mourn, they are also trying to understand how this tragedy happened.

Several neighbors expressed concerns about the smell of gas that was reported right before the explosion. There was also reportedly a gas-related incident earlier in the week, according to the Denver Post.

A community meeting is set for Tuesday at 1 p.m. to answer some of the residents’ questions.

Authorities the full investigation could take weeks to complete.