ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A large fire destroyed a gun range and store in Englewood on Thursday morning, the Denver Fire Department said.
The fire started just before 4 a.m. at The Shootist Gun Range in the 2900 block of South Galapago Street, near South Santa Fe Drive and West Dartmouth Avenue.
A passerby reported the fire. Flames were seen coming out of the roof and the building was fully involved when firefighters arrived.
Fire crews fought the fire from the outside, putting out hot spots.
About 50 people received reverse emergency notification calls to evacuate the area because of the fire, but most have been allowed to return home, the Englewood Police Department said.
The owner of the range said the situation is devastating, especially because as a family business, it was their livelihood. They are asking for time to process things.
Dylan Mullins, who lives nearby, was jolted awake to the sound of ammunition exploding.
“You could tell it was ammunition just cooking, going off,” he said.
Mullins said he saw 50-foot flames when he went outside.
“It’s definitely kind of a scary thing so close to my house," he said.
No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
“We’ll look at security footage in the area, anything suspicious that may have been happening around that time," said Sgt. Chad Read with the Englewood Police Department.
"They’ll conduct interviews with folks and hopefully that will lead to a conclusion."
As firefighters focused efforts on the gun store, there was a separate incident.
Police said an alleged hit-and-run drunk driver came barreling through their police tape.
“Our technician left the shop in his vehicle and he got hit by a driver about two blocks east of us," said Amber Kaufman, part-owner of Absolute Motor Works.
"The driver then proceeded to escape and ran directly into the road block in front of The Shootist where the fire happened. So, instant karma."
Mullins said he used to be a customer at the gun shop and hopes the family will be able to rebuild.
“It’s sad to see that happen," he said. "I know they just did a remodel in the last few years, so it’s really unfortunate for them."