Investigative report finished for fatal 2018 Aurora retirement community explosion, fire

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AURORA, Colo. — Aurora  Fire Rescue investigators say their investigation is complete into an explosion and fire that resulted in the death of one woman last year.

The Nov. 16, 2018 incident resulted in the death of Carol Ross, a resident at the complex. Two civilians and one firefighter were injured.

The retirement community is located near South Abilene Street and East Yale Avenue, just west of Interstate 225.

According to the report, investigators determined a boring bit damaged a gas line. The report says underground communications contractors were utilizing a boring bit near the time and area of the explosion.

It is currently unclear if any charges will be brought forth by the report’s findings.

At 4:04 p.m. on Nov. 16, Aurora Fire Rescue was dispatched to Heather Gardens for a gas leak. According to the report, AFR responded, performed “precautionary/proactive measures” and requested Xcel Energy, which operates the gas line, respond as well.

About 5:30 p.m., the explosion occurred in the area near 13962 E. Linvale Pl., the residence of Carol Ross.

“The gas leaked underground through the soil and entered the residence through a crack or hole in the structure and then ignited and exploded,” AFR said.

A gas-fed fire continued after the explosion.

“The department offers our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Carol Ross who died last November,” said Aurora Fire Chief Fernando Gray. “We understand that the one-year-mark can be difficult for all impacted including those who were displaced, those who were injured, and especially those who lost a loved one.”

FOX31 and Channel 2 have filed a request for the full report but it has not yet been fulfilled.

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