Barbecue Grill to Blame for House Fire

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A local family is forced out of their home after a destructive fire broke out. Fire investigators say it started from a barbecue grill.

The fire broke out just before 5 p.m. on Sunday at a home on Churchwood Circle. That's near Woodmen and Rangewood on the east side of Colorado Springs.

11 News talked to neighbors who saw the fire erupt.

“Black smoke just shot straight up out of the garage door,” said neighbor Steve Halverson.

“It was terrifying because the wind was blowing towards our house and we could see the flames,” explained neighbor, Marcia Billingsley.

Fire investigators say the homeowner had just returned from a barbecue event and was unloading the grills from his trailer to his driveway. Firefighters say one of the grills was still hot. The propane tank exploded and the fire rapidly spread to the garage and then to the second floor.

“Propane tanks do ignite themselves. It starts to boil over and it gets to expanding where the container can't hold it anymore and it exploded,” said Lt. Stacy Billapando with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Neighbors heard the explosion.

“Glass started popping, a big bang, so something went off, either gas or something and smoke covered the whole street," said Halverson.

Fire crews got the fire under control within minutes. But the damage is so severe the family of four cannot live there for now.

Firefighters say this is a good reminder for all of us who grill or have barbecue plans for the upcoming 4th of July holiday. They say whether you use a charcoal or propane grill, make sure to let it cool down before moving or storing it.