Still No Plan for Denver House That Exploded Over the Summer | Westword
Navigation

Neighborhoods

House That Exploded on Lincoln Street Over the Summer Still Sitting in Limbo

It's been nearly four months, and the City of Denver still hasn't received plans to demolish or repair the fourplex that blew up on Lincoln Street.
Denver fire officials believe a gas leak is to blame for the Lincoln Street explosion, which happened in August.
Denver fire officials believe a gas leak is to blame for the Lincoln Street explosion, which happened in August. Westword
Share this:
On August 10, a fourplex at 457-461 South Lincoln Street exploded — destroying half the building and leaving its crumbling shell leaning toward a house next door.

Over three months later, the site is in nearly the exact same state.

“The owner hasn’t been as responsive as the city would hope,” says Amanda Weston, a spokesperson for the Denver Department of Community Planning & Development. “To date, the property owner hasn’t submitted a plan to demolish or repair the structure.”

The explosion, which is believed to have been gas-related, destroyed half the building and sent debris flying onto nearby properties. CPD put an emergency fence up at the building, but not much more has been done aside from a few cords and ropes being put in place to anchor the structure.

At the time of the explosion, neighbors reported hearing it from blocks away. One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, and the building next door sustained damage. The Denver Fire Department confirms that the explosion is still under investigation, though it initially cited natural gas as the likely cause.

CPD wasn’t able to get in contact with the owner of the property — which tax records list as DPC 457 LLC — for more than a month after the explosion. In August, it issued an emergency work order and order to comply, finding the building unsafe and hazardous under Denver building code.
click to enlarge A fourplex at 457 South Lincoln Street in Denver, Colorado, that exploded in August 2023.
Steel cords and ropes have been anchoring the Lincoln Street fourplex.
Westword
“The city was able to get in contact with the owner’s lawyer, and we sent them the orders to comply for this structure,” Weston shares. “The city required the owner to hire an engineer to determine if the building should be demolished or repaired.”

In September, an engineer went to the site and determined that emergency shoring was needed to secure it to complete a full investigation. That shoring was completed at the end of September.

According to Denver's Code of Ordinances, ignoring city orders can be considered a criminal offense.

"It shall be unlawful to violate any portion of any of the above codes or any order of any building or fire official enforcing said codes," the law reads.

Building code violations would fall under the general city penalty, which specifies that for each offense, people may be fined a sum less than $1,000, jailed for 300 days or less, or both. But this situation hasn't reached that point yet.

“Our inspections team continues to reach out to the owner to determine how the owner plans to proceed with this property,” Weston says.

In the meantime, CPD isn't neglecting its responsibilities: A CPD inspector visited the property on November 20.

Weston says the department is doing what it can to figure out a plan or timeline with the property owner.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. Your membership allows us to continue offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food, and culture with no paywalls. You can support us by joining as a member for as little as $1.