DENVER (CBS4) – Police in Denver say they believe an arsonist is responsible for a mass killing early Wednesday morning at a Denver bar.
Denver Police and Firefighters rushed to Fero’s Bar and Grill on 357 S. Colorado Boulevard at about 1:50 a.m. When firefighters entered the building they found five bodies inside. All four women and one man were dead.
The victims have been identified as Daria Pohl, 22, of Denver, Kellene Fallon, 45, of Denver, Young Fero, 63, of Aurora, Ross Richter, 29, and Tereasa Beesley, 45, of Denver.
Police are hoping surveillance video will help provide clues as to who is responsible for the murders.
“Currently we have members from our department inside the bar and grill continue to process the scene. There is extensive damage done to the premise as it relates to the fire,” said Denver Police Chief Robert White. “We’re also canvassing the area to see if we can capture any of the video in any of the businesses that might be in the position to afford us the opportunity for us to gather additional information.”
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Police said it appears the victims were murdered before the fire was set, although they said they are still early in their investigation and many details are still unknown. They did say no one else was hurt besides those who were killed.
“The fire department responded to the scene. Once they were on the scene they discovered five bodies inside,” White told reporters at the scene a few hours later. “It appears there was some trauma to the bodies. It also appears that it was an arson. So this is currently being classified as an arson-homicide.”
White wouldn’t elaborate when asked about how the victims might have died, and he said so far it’s not clear how much the bar was damaged, although the building appeared to be structurally sound from Copter4.
Police said they are following every lead and remind everyone to be aware of their surroundings. Those who see something suspicious are encouraged to call police.
“We’d like to think that this was an isolated incident but I can’t say that with any certainty,” said White.
“One death, one homicide is a concern to this administration. Multiplied with the deaths of five individuals potentially being murdered at one time at one location, it’s very alarming. That’s why it’s so important that we investigate it to the fullest and use the eyes and ears of anyone who might have seen or heard anything to help us bring this to a closure as expeditiously as possible.”
Authorities closed Colorado Boulevard for several hours from from Alameda to Dakota as part of their investigation. Traffic began flowing smoothly after 6:30 a.m., but the investigation at the crime scene was expected to continue throughout the day.
There is no word on a suspect description.
Denver police ask that anyone with information about the case call them or call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You can text to CRIMES (274637) then title DMCS and enter your message or send an e-mail to metro-denvercrimestoppers.com. If the information you provide leads to the arrest and charging of a wanted individual, you can receive a cash reward up to $2,000.