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Police Believe Teen Started Large Apartment Complex Fire In Lakewood

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Jalen Berg (credit: Lakewood Police Department)

Jalen Berg (credit: Lakewood Police Department)

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Lakewood police say a 19-year-old man could be responsible for setting a massive apartment complex fire that occurred on Friday.

According to police, Jalen Berg lived in the building and was one of the two people hospitalized for minor injuries.

The fire broke out at the Lakewood Estates Condominium complex on West Atlantic Place. Authorities evacuated the entire building and some people are still not allowed to go back home. Fire crews say six of the units got extensive damage from the fire.

Nobody was seriously hurt.

Fire officials originally said the fire looked suspicious. Now arson investigators are saying evidence found in Berg’s apartment suggests the fire was intentionally set.

Berg shared the unit with his father. An investigation uncovered the two allegedly got into a physical altercation earlier in the evening. It’s believed Berg set the fire in retaliation for the fight with his father.

“People should screen renters a little more closely,” resident Michelle Rader said. “I’m going to trial. Everyday he’s on trial I will be there.”

Rader lived next door to Berg.

“They’ve been nothing but problems since they moved in,” Rader said. “They fight all the time in the parking lot.”

Berg was released from the hospital and taken into police custody. He’s facing a number of charges including first-degree arson, 14 counts of attempted murder for the people home at the time, and child abuse for the children inside.

Berg has an extensive arrest record including possession of dangerous drugs and carrying a concealed weapon. He will make his first court appearance on Monday.

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