4
| DIY |

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

^
Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

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.

Watch for more updates.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.