AURORA | A woman has been accused of setting a fire that killed a 5-year-old boy and injured and displaced others in a three-story apartment building in central Aurora early Monday, police said Monday.
Alondra Michel, 37, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree arson and three counts of attempted first-degree murder, according to an Aurora Police Department news blog. The case will be prosecuted in the 18th Judicial District.
Michel was allegedly involved in a “domestic violence incident” on the main level of the apartment building “when she intentionally set the fire, which quickly spread to other units,” police reported. Police said the boy was found in a second-story apartment.
Police said other charges may be forthcoming. Jail records show no bond amount has been set. Michel is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 26.
The fire began at about 1:30 a.m. at the 15320 East Evans Ave. apartment, according to Aurora Fire and Rescue.
Firefighters said the flames engulfed multiple units, and that numerous people were rescued from inside their apartments. Medics examined nine people there. Three were taken to a nearby hospital.
“Nine people were injured and three of those patients were transported to local hospitals,” fire department officials said in a statement later Monday. “Sadly, fire officials were notified later that a child who was transported to the hospital later died.”
Fire officials said people trying to escape couldn’t get down the stairs of the building during the fire, and photos showed the outdoor staircases burned in the blaze. Firefighters using ladders rescued nine people from the building, said Lt. Dan Pollet, a spokesman for Aurora Fire Rescue.
“Despite the courageous and professional efforts of our members, our community has suffered a tragic loss and the entire Aurora Fire Rescue family is deeply saddened by this incident,” said Aurora Fire Rescue Chief Fernando Gray Sr. “We are committed to providing any and all assistance to those impacted and displaced by this fire, and especially to those who are grieving today. A complete and thorough investigation will be conducted to determine the origin and cause of the fire.”
The boy’s identity and cause of death will be released by the Arapahoe County coroner office at a future date.
According to the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming, the fire directly damaged 12 apartments and left 12 others without utility service. It said it was providing lodging assistance and other services to 18 adults and eight children because of the fire.