Residents of Denver's North Capitol Hill neighborhood assess damage from massive construction fire

DENVER — The massive inferno that killed at least one and injured six others Wednesday not only destroyed an all-wood framed construction project but unleashed an extensive amount of damage to Denver’s North Capitol Hill neighborhood. 

Neighborhood residents and business owners were out Thursday assessing the damage and beginning repairs. 

The fire destroyed the under-construction Emerson Place Apartments at 1833 Emerson Street. One person’s body was found at the burned site. One person is still unaccounted for.

The fire is believed to have started on the third story of the five-story construction project. The exact cause is still under investigation.

The fire took off quickly and created an intense amount of heat, spreading to nearby buildings. One additional structure was lost while 13 nearby buildings sustained some type of damage, according to Denver Fire Capt. Greg Pixley. 

Additionally, crews extinguished six rooftop fires that were sparked by wayward embers. Ash was spotted as far away as the 16th Street Mall.

The heat from the fire melted electric meters attached to a medical office located next to Emerson Place. An office manager told Denver7 that the building also sustained smoke and water damage. 

Crews were seen Thursday making tempory repairs to an apartment complex on the adjacent block south of the charred construction site. Heat cracked and warped at least a dozen of the building’s windows.

Pixley said 40 vehicles, parked in alleyways and surrounding parking lots, were damaged or destroyed in the fire. Trucks were towing some of those vehicles away Thursday. 

It's too early to know to the exact cost of damages done by the fire. 

The City and County of Denver opened an Assistance Center to allow residents affected by the fire to retrieve belongings and help navigate their next steps. It's located in a parking lot at the corner of 1950 North Ogden Street. 

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