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Work crews demolish Westbury Apartment building torched by arsonist in July 2018

Tenants are anxious to see bare ground again
Posted: 12:30 AM, May 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-20 11:41:41Z
debris pile

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — After staring at the eyesore outside their living room windows for nearly a year, residents of the Westbury Apartment complex said they can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Thursday, work crews began demolishing what was left of Building E, which was gutted by an arson fire last July.

Work crews demolish fire gutted apartment building

"I was like, 'Wow, finally,'" said Theresa Ramirez, a tenant in one of the adjacent buildings. "They've been saying they were going to do that... but it was just sitting there."

Another resident, Damion Cole, said it was hard to come home to that scene every day.

"It's really sad to invite people over because this is the first thing they see," he said.

Now, all that remains of the gutted building is a pile of debris, surrounded by a fence, and signs warning of asbestos danger.

debris pile
Asbestos Warning Sign

"It's going to be nice when it's gone," Ramirez said.

Before tearing down the burned building, work crews taped the neighbor's windows and sliding glass doors with plastic sheeting to protect them from airborne asbestos.

Plastic sheeting for protection

Ramirez said once the plastic was put in place, they couldn't open their windows.

"I asked my husband to get the box cutter and cut part of the plastic open," she said. "It was just too hot. We couldn't breathe. It was really rough, because it was like a sauna."

Cole said he too barely got any sleep.

"My room was just so hot," he said.

When asked if she is worried about asbestos, Ramirez said, "It was more of, do we fear it? Or is there really a choice? And there really isn't."

There is no word yet on when the debris will be removed.

Ramirez said she can't wait to finally see the bare ground again.