Man hospitalized after equipment explosion at County Commons

Firefighters with Summit Fire & EMS tape off the site of a small explosion off County Shops Road on Sunday, May 9.
Photo by Sawyer D’Argonne /

A man was injured in a small explosion while working on a pressurized water device at the Summit County Commons on Sunday, May 9, according to Summit Fire & EMS Battalion Chief Ryan Cole.

At about 12:20 p.m., firefighters were dispatched to a report of a vehicle fire at the Summit County Mixed Fleet Maintenance Facility just outside of Frisco, across the parking lot from Summit Fire’s administration building. On scene, first responders discovered that a maintenance worker was injured after a piece of equipment he was working on exploded, which Cole called a “freak occurrence.”

Cole said the man was conscious, breathing and speaking when firefighters and emergency medical workers arrived. He was transported to St. Anthony Summit Medical Center and later to University Hospital in Denver to treat his burn and blast wounds, according to Cole. The extent of the man’s injuries is unknown at this time.

Cole said the man, one of two contracted maintenance employees on-site that day, was working on a pressurized water device mounted to the back of the truck when it exploded.

“Basically, what it is is a large pressure-washing system that heats up the water that’s put through the coils, and then they can use that, I’m assuming, to potentially do things like melt out storm drains and things along those lines,” Cole said. “… It does not appear that there was ever an actual fire; it just appears there was more of an over pressure of a system that then ruptured.”

The other employee working at the facility was uninjured. Cole said the other man heard the explosion from inside while working on a different piece of equipment and ran out to help the injured man flush out his eyes.

The exact cause of the incident is unknown. Cole said a fire investigator came to the scene for several hours Sunday afternoon but hadn’t yet released any definitive answers.

A look at the pressurized water device that exploded and injured a maintenance worker on Sunday, May 9.
Photo by Sawyer D’Argonne /

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