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Arson Suspect Formally Charged, Facing 55 Counts

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BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4)- The man accused of intentionally setting fire to condominiums in Adams County was formally charged on Wednesday.

Martin Espinoza was charged with 55 counts, including 10 counts of attempted first-degree murder, 31 counts of first-degree arson, four counts of third-degree assault and 10 counts of a crime of violence in Adams County Court.

Martin Castruita Espinoza (credit: Adams County Sherif's Office)

Martin Castruita Espinoza (credit: Adams County Sherif’s Office)

The fire destroyed 12 units and damaged six others when it broke out at the Corona Village Condos at 88th and Corona. Hundreds were forced out of their homes.

“We just stood there and watched it burn down,” said Corona Village fire victim Nick Buschman. “It makes me upset that someone can do something like that.”

One three-story building was destroyed and has been condemned. Once the investigation is complete it will be torn down. Two other buildings suffered some damage. Four people were transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

Buschman attended Espinoza’s hearing in Adams County to come face to face with the man police believe started that fire.

“I want to see his face. I want to see how he reacts. I’m going to be at everyone of his court dates,” said Buschman.

Detectives are still working on determining a motive for the arson but arrest documents show Espinoza had recently been kicked out of his mother’s condo at Corona Village and had a history of playing with fire.

“I have to support my wife and my kids as they cry themselves to sleep at night because of what this guy did,” said Buschman.

On his Facebook page Espinoza has denied his involvement in starting the fire and claimed he was repeatedly harassed by detectives while being questioned.

Espinoza remains behind bars on $100,000 bond.

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