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RV fire sparks concerns again about long-term camper parking in Denver

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Posted at 3:15 PM, Apr 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-02 19:21:35-04

DENVER — Cell phone cameras were rolling Thursday as an RV caught on fire in an industrial part of Denver's Northeast Park Hill neighborhood.

Denver firefighters could be seen dousing the flames as smoke billowed.

"Man, those guys work fast," a man said as he recorded their actions.

A picture taken later in the day shows the aftermath of that destructive fire near the corner of Smith Road and Forest Street. On Saturday, a sidewalk covered in soot is all that remained.

"If that fire was just this past Thursday, there was another one several months ago right here on Grape," a nearby resident, who didn't want to be identified, said Saturday.

She says multiple RVs have been moving into the area in the past two years.

"I just have been trying to avoid the area because I don't know what is involved with, you know, living out of an RV for that long of a time," the woman said.

A quick drive around the area shows a glimpse of the problem: multiple broken-down RVs parked along the streets, just feet away from businesses, and growing mounds of trash.

This isn't the first time Denver7 has reported on this problem. In December, there was another RV fire in the area, this time just a few minutes away on Smith Road and Quebec Street.

And just last month, business owners in the Ruby Hill area complained about the trash and filth from the RVs there.

"When you're a property owner, it's not really what you want to see," the woman said.

In March, a spokesperson with the Department of Housing Stability said the department was working with several city agencies on enforcement.

Its request for proposals for a safe parking site also closed at the end of the month. The site would allow some of the RV owners to park there and get connected to services. The work now begins to determine the group that will manage the site. The earliest one could open is June.