A three-alarm fire in Denver burned through an apartment construction site Wednesday, killing one person, leaving at least one construction worker unaccounted for, and leaving a third person in critical condition.
Other construction workers leaped from the second and third floors of the structure to escape the flames, the Denver Post reported.
Later Wednesday, family members and co-workers of another construction worker, identified as Robert Flores Prieto, said he, too, was unaccounted for, Fox 31 Denver reported.
The fire broke out around noon in Denver’s North Capitol Hill neighborhood.
More than 200 firefighters rushed to the scene, the Post reported. Three fire engines and 30 nearby vehicles were damaged or destroyed, officials said.
About 50 construction workers were believed to be at the site when the blaze broke out.
“It smelled a little bit like a barbecue, and then they told us to get out of the building,” construction worker George Garcia told the Post.
“It smelled a little bit like a barbecue, and then they told us to get out of the building.”
Fire Capt. Greg Pixley said the fire burned hot and quickly because the building was under construction, leaving the wood exposed, the Post reported.
“If it wasn’t for the efforts of the construction workers and their efforts to look out for their own colleagues and do their best to reduce the amount of damage, it could have been a lot worse,” Pixley said.
At least six pieces of construction equipment were destroyed in the flames that shot up to 200 feet into the air, officials told Fox 31 Denver.
The cause of the blaze was not immediately known and was under investigation.