Denver fire: Five people including three children found dead in suspected arson attack

‘Our heart and our prayers go out to this community,’ says captain Greg Pixley

James Crump
Wednesday 05 August 2020 22:50
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Denver authorities have opened an investigation into a fire that killed five people in a suburban house in the city.

The Denver Fire Department were called to a Green Valley Ranch home at 2:40am on Wednesday morning, after a local police officer alerted them to the burning building.

“Officers quickly determined there were people in the home,” Joe Montoya, chief of the Denver Police Department’s investigations division, said in a press conference on Wednesday morning.

“There was a valiant effort to try to pull people from the home. They were unable to save some of the individuals that perished in the fire.” he added.

Although he did not elaborate on what the department had found, Mr Montoya told reporters that the authorities have “indication through some evidence that it was arson”.

The victims’ bodies were discovered after the fire had been extinguished and Denver Fire Department captain Greg Pixley told the AP that they believe they were three adults, a toddler and an older child.

Three other people were able to escape the fire by jumping from the house’s second floor, but their current conditions are unknown, according to the Associated Press.

The family who lived in the house are believed to have come to the US from Senegal a few years ago and other people from the city’s Senegalese community gathered outside their home on Wednesday.

Many of them said that they will wait at the house until the bodies are removed from the residence, according to The Denver Post.

One of the people waiting outside, Ousman Ba, told the Post that he does not understand why the house would be intentionally set on fire, and asked: “What would our community do to be a target?”

Mr Pixley praised the fire department for their work keeping the fire under control and stopping it from spreading to other houses in the area, and said: “We’re very lucky in that respect because this fire could have been far more significant, affecting far more people.”

He added: “This is a devastating time for Denver and this community. Our heart and our prayers go out to this community.”

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