DIY

Rhinoceropolis DIY Venue Shut Down by Denver Fire Department for Code Violations

UPDATE, Friday, 2 p.m.: Denver's Fire Department has issued a statement to further explain the fire code violations that its inspectors discovered during a December 8 inspection of the DIY space Rhinoceropolis. Among the violations cited are the building's use of extension cords as permanent wiring and its lack of sprinklers, smoke detectors and a “properly working” furnace.

According to the statement, occupants were allowed back into the building on Friday at 11 a.m. to retrieve their possessions, and various city departments are currently working with the space's owner to determine the most “effective and efficient” means for a resolution.

The full press release can be found at the bottom of this article.

ORIGINAL POST:


DIY space Rhinoceropolis, a landmark venue at 3553 Brighton Boulevard in RiNo for eleven years, was evacuated tonight — Thursday, December 8 — after it was deemed unsafe by the Denver Fire Department. There were reportedly five people living in the space, which had a large area for performances and also included lofted rooms in the back of the two-story build.

Rhinoceropolis and its next-door sister venue, Glob,  have hosted many performances by musicians and other acts in the DIY community, all without incident. But apparently the Denver Fire Department, responding to complaints in the wake of the tragedy at Oakland's Ghost Ship DIY space, did a quick inspection and determined that potential fire hazards made it an "unsafe building."

Here's the statement released tonight by the Denver Fire Department:

Earlier this evening the Denver Fire Department was called to 3553 Brighton Boulevard by the Denver Police Department on reports of unsafe building conditions. An inspection by Fire Prevention Technicians revealed numerous serious fire code violations. Compounding the serious nature of this situation is the fact that it is believed as many as five adults were living in a back area of this address. An Order to Comply was issued stating that all sleeping units needed to be vacated immediately.
As we've reported, Rhinoceropolis has been an intrinsic part of the Denver music underground; this week, our profile of RocketSpace argued that Denver needs its DIY space now more than ever.

The sign posted by the city on the structure now reads:

Notice: Unsafe building. No one shall occupy this space (sleep in) Until the building is deemed safe.

DPS Press Release


Watch for more updates.
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Lindsey Bartlett is a writer, photographer, artist, Denver native and weed-snob. Her work has been published in Vanity Fair, High Times and Leafly, to name a few.
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Chris Walker is a freelancer and former staff writer at Westword. Before moving to the Mile High City he spent two years bicycling across Eurasia, during which he wrote feature stories for VICE, NPR, Forbes, and The Atlantic. Read more of Chris's feature work and view his portfolio here.
Contact: Chris Walker