Colorado Springs family displaced after destructive house fire; lithium ion batteries confirmed cause

Published: Jun. 19, 2022 at 7:11 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2022 at 6:06 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A family could be displaced for a while after a fire caused significant damage to their home.

Neighbors living around Potter Drive and Maxwell Road sounded the alarm after hearing a loud boom and seeing a towering column of smoke coming from the house.

“The people in this neighborhood are very close, so they were on the phone with the homeowner ... with the amount of public that was out and how tight the neighborhood [is], they had already done that hard job of, ‘Your house is on fire,’ so [the homeowners] kinda knew when we called them,” said Lt. Jeremiah Heddings with the Colorado Springs Fire Department.

Firefighters told 11 News the flames were so high as they were pulling up on scene that they could first be spotted from blocks away. Crews reached the house within four minutes of the first 911 call.

The blaze started in the garage and spread into the home.

“There’s very extensive damage to the rear of the house,” Heddings said. “The garage to the rear of the house as well is completely destroyed.”

It also caught a power pole on fire, which Heddings said was worrying.

“We have a crew in the back, a four person crew monitoring that fire. We don’t put those out initially because they can potentially be energized, so we’re awaiting city utilities to de-energize the utility pole,” he told 11 News while the fire was still active.

The explosion neighbors heard could have been propane cylinders or something similar, Hedding said.

“A lot of things can cause explosions that are heard within residential structures when there’s a fire.”

Firefighters confirmed lithium ion batteries overheated, causing the fire. It’s unclear if that was the explosion sound that neighbors heard, or something else catching fire.

Four dogs were home alone when the fire started, but firefighters helped them escape.

“They are safe,” Heddings said.

American Red Cross is now assisting the family and the four pups while they are displaced from the house.

“Unfortunately they will be displaced for a long amount of time,” Heddings said. “There is extensive damage in the house.”

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