Cause of deadly Denver construction site fire in March remains undetermined

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DENVER -- The cause of a three-alarm fire at a construction site near downtown Denver in March that killed two people has still not been determined, the Denver Fire Department said Wednesday.

“We’re going to list this as undetermined at this time,” spokesman Greg Pixley said. “This is still an active investigation."

The fire started just after noon on March 7 at 1833 Emerson St. in the North Capitol Hill neighborhood, sending flames and black smoke into the air.

More than 50 workers were at the five-story Emerson Place when the fire started. Some jumped from the second and third floors to escape the flames.

Two construction workers died in the fire -- Dustin Peterson, 37, and Roberto Flores Prieto, 29 -- from smoke inhalation.

Several workers suffered injuries and a firefighter was hurt.

More than 100 firefighters fought the flames. Four floors collapsed, making it a challenge for fire investigators.

The fire initially was reported on the third floor and spread quickly, investigators said in March. The intensity of the fire was partly attributed to exposed wood in the building.

“We have ruled out the temporary electrical power provided by electrical cords and power units assisting construction workers inside the building,” Pixley said.

One nearby building and several others suffered damage. Vehicles were also burned by the flames.

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