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Explosions at homeless camp shut down light rail line in Lakewood

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Smoke at Lakewood light rail station

Smoke at Lakewood light rail station

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A light rail station was closed Wednesday afternoon after minor explosions at a homeless encampment, the Lakewood Police Department said.

A detective was driving by the area of 13th Avenue and Harlan Street when he heard an explosion and saw smoke, LPD reported. The detective subsequently heard two more similar sounds, prompting police to investigate.

Police determined that a pair of propane tanks on a cook stove in the tunnels beneath the light rail exploded after a mattress caught fire and ignited a tank. The incident was considered an an accident.

“Right now there is no intentional act or anything to show that this was anything more than a transient camp gone bad,” Lakewood police spokesman Det. Ty Countryman said.

RTD confirmed that the Lamar station between Lamar and Sheridan was closed, and the west line was blocked going both ways.

“Our train started going backwards from where we were heading, so we were like, ‘Okay, something is not right. Let’s just get off and figure out what is going on,” Metro State student Sierra Martin said.

The W Line was not directly affected, and service on the light rail route from downtown Denver through Lakewood to Golden resumed at about 3:45 p.m.

Passengers said once they knew what was going on, they didn’t mind the delay so much in the interest of safety.

 

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