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Body found after fire in Colorado Springs storm pipe

Posted at 7:19 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 21:19:35-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — The body of a man was found inside a Colorado Springs storm drain this week. He was discovered after firefighters put out a fire inside the underground pipe. The location is just of the Midland Tail near 12th Street on Colorado Springs west side.

Firefighters found the body after crawling close to 100 feet into the pipe. “We would have to wear self-contained breathing apparatus because we don’t know what kind of gases are in there,” said Colorado Springs Fire Marshal, Brett Lacey. It is not only gas from the fire causing concern. “Just normal decomposition of organic material can create large pockets of methane gas," said Lacey.

The man found dead was likely homeless. The coroner will determine if he died from gas in the drainage system or another cause.

The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) says this is a worst-case scenario of a common issue. "It's all over the city, we're finding folks in similar situations,” said HOT Team Supervisor, Sergeant Kurt Hasling, “Maybe not as isolated and as remote as that particular one we're dealing with, yesterday's incident, but we do find it' pretty regular."

Police and fire say, whether homeless, kids playing, or someone wanting to explore underground pipes it is a bad idea and dangerous.