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Firefighters were called to an apartment complex in Aurora, Colorado Saturday morning due to smoke in the building when an explosion occurred, injuring three people and temporarily displacing hundreds of others.
Photos posted by Aurora Fire Rescue showed a gaping hole on the fourth floor of the building and debris on the street.
The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear, but residents said it was preceded by smoke and strange odors.
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“I’m starting to smell something, I’m starting to see a little bit of” [wisps] smelled like upstairs,” Phillip Oransky, a resident of the building, told TBEN 31 Denver.
“I wonder what the safe distance is to watch a fire, before I know it I just hear a bang. I see debris flying, there are people queuing up against the Cheba Hut over there. The first thing I see can think of is: not the safe distance.”
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The American Red Cross coordinates temporary shelter for 300 to 400 displaced residents while Aurora Fire Rescue investigates the cause of the explosion.
Two of the injured victims were designated “green patients,” meaning they suffered no serious injuries, while the third victim was transported to Aurora Medical Center, according to TBEN 31 Denver.