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3 units destroyed in Aurora townhouse fire started by charcoal

AURORA, Colo. -- Firefighters saved three dogs while fighting a three-alarm fire at a housing complex in Aurora on Monday afternoon.

The fire broke out at a four-unit townhouse 1244 S. Zeno Way. Three units were declared total losses by the fire, the Aurora Fire Department said.

Officials said three Yorkies were rescued after they were found in a bathroom in one of the units. No injuries were reported.

Crews said wind played a major part in the spread of the fire, which started as a result of charcoal bricks on the back of one of the townhouses.

Firefighters said the charcoal was dumped into a plastic trash can and the very strong winds reignited the flames that spread quickly.

"I looked out the back window and all of the sudden there were flames coming from the third unit," neighbor Fiona Saunders said. "Within like seconds it went up the side of the building."

Firefighters are reminding people that charcoal should never be dumped into anything plastic. To dispose of it, use a metal container.