Lakewood Fire Victims Shocked By Suspicious Fires
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – An investigation into a series of fires in Lakewood is continuing on Wednesday. So far officials haven’t come to any conclusions about the causes other than to say they are suspicious.
“We spent yesterday examining all four fire scenes, colllecting evidence and talking to neighbors in the area,” West Metro Fire Marshal Bruce Karl said Wednesday. “Lakewood police was instrumental in canvassing the area for anybody that might have seen anything, alerting the area to look for anything that might lead us to some idea of what happened yesterday.
A 93-year-old woman’s home burned in one of the fires.
“It’s heartbreaking to see it happen,” Harriet Tracey said. “I can’t believe this happened.”
Tracey, 93, had to fight back tears when she talked about the damage to her home on Tuesday.
“I’ve been in this house for 42 years. And I built it up to the way I liked it,” she said.
Between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Tuesday four car fires erupted within a half a mile of each other.
A car and then Tracey’s house went up in flames near the intersection of Carr and Alaska Place. A second car burned at Cody and Cedar just after 5 a.m. Then at 5:48 a.m. a carport turned inferno on South Estes. While that was still burning a fourth car fire started just down the street.
“She’s been here since 1971 and this was her castle,” said Tracey’s son Frank, who lived in the home with his mom.
Frank Tracey said shortly after 4 a.m. he heard a strange sound coming from near the garage.
“I walked to the door of my mother’s bedroom and I looked out and through her two windows it was just a glow. And then the smoke alarms went off,” he said.
Frank woke his mother and led her outside to safety as flames engufed the home.
Dan Hartman’s 2002 Toyota Tundra burned in one of the fires. He told CBS4 on Wednesday he has had to put his work blowing out sprinklers at people’s homes on hold at a very busy time of year.
“It was a great shock and a very big danger when it happened, and now we’re just dealing with the aftermath,” he said.
Fire Marshall Bruce Karl said the evidence from the fires is being sent to the lab. They have impounded four cars for further analysis.
“At this point we don’t have physical evidence to say if this was caused by one thing or another. We have to determine on each vehicle whether or not that was intentionally set or an accidental fire. Then from there we’ll see if there’s any connection (between the fires).”
Hartman said he’s upset that someone could have started the fires, and knows if there is such a person they are probably struggling with some sort of psychological issues.
“It’s very frustrating. If there’s someone out there who’s willing to torch other people’s property or even endanger people’s lives — and it appears as if that’s happened — it’s a horrible thing to be a pyromaniac,” he said.
Tracey’s heartbroken family said they have a message for the person responsible, if there is such a person.
“If this makes them happy, they’ve destroyed a lot of people. This is really upsetting.”