DENVER (CBS4)– An arrest was made Monday nearly six months after an explosion destroyed homes on Santa Fe Drive between 3rd and 4th Avenues. Todd Norman Perkins, 56, was injured in the explosion and hospitalized.
Nine people were hurt, one critically, on Aug. 14, 2018. Perkins was a handyman for the building and lived in a trailer near the property. Investigators identified Perkins as a suspect in the explosion several months ago.
Denver Fire Department spokesman Greg Pixley said that fire investigators found a gas container near the explosion and three places where gas lines were opened.
“The intent was that someone severed the lines and opened the values which allowed for natural gas to flow in the area,” said Pixley.
Investigators also found three different cigarette lighters and a box of matches near where the explosion took place. Pixley said that Perkins was in the basement without permission, opened the gas lines and then poured gasoline in four areas.
The blast leveled much of a four-plex residential building in Denver’s historic Baker Neighborhood.
The explosion also damaged cars on the street and caused damage to a building across the street. Perkins was injured in the blast with significant burns and was placed in a medically-induced coma. After initial treatment he received rehabilitation before he was arrested.
Perkins was arrested in Lakewood. He is facing attempted first-degree murder and first-degree arson.
Pixley said it appears this stemmed from a disagreement with the building owner and that some of the tenants had a disagreement with him.