Heat of fire melts vehicles

11:19 PM, Dec 15, 2013   |    comments
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GLENDALE -Flames from Saturday's massive structure fire in Glendale were so powerful they skipped over a roadway, burned two separate apartment complexes and melted the front ends of nearly 20 parked vehicles.

Investigators spent the early morning hours of Sunday trying to figure out what caused a massive building, still under construction, to burst in to flames.

The fire started late Saturday night, just after 11 p.m. at a vacant soon-to-be apartment building at South Cherry Street and Cherry Creek South Drive that would have included 341 units.

A major portion of the fire had been knocked down by 1:30 Sunday morning. Denver's Fire Chief referred to it as a Third Alarm Fire.

"Third alarm fires are rare in Denver," said Eric Tade, Denver's Fire Chief.

Glendale Police captain Mike Gross says the fire jumped a four-lane road and also damaged an apartment complex. The fire was so hot it melted many cars in the parking lot of that apartment complex.

He says the fire also jumped south and damaged a townhome community. Flames from the fire climbed as high as 40 feet, according to eye witnesses. You could see the fire from as far away as 30 miles.

Dozens of people ran from their homes as embers from the fire fell from the sky. Firefighters were concerned the blaze would spread to nearby town homes and condos.

"I was asleep and they came in the building and they said 'you guys have to get out, your building is about to catch fire,'" said Heather Leach, who lives in the area.

It's unclear what caused the fire. As of Sunday morning it was still under investigation. No one was injured in the blaze.

Some people who were evacuated from their homes were taken to a nearby building for the night.

Mike Gross with Glendale police says the fire happened just across the street from a fire that killed a woman in 2003.

Officials found the Spanish Gate Apartments Fire, in 2003, was an arson case. Saturday's fire is still under investigation.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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