A 5-year-old boy died in an apartment fire as his mother cried out and windows shattered in the flames, Colorado police said.
Now a woman has been arrested on murder and arson charges after she was accused of starting the fire, the Aurora Police Department said.
The fire broke out in a three-story apartment building in Aurora on Monday, Jan. 24, the fire department said. The building was engulfed in flames.
Multiple rescues have been made. Primary searches on all floors complete. Hot spots continuing to be extinguished. Updates here. pic.twitter.com/Rjbk5MrsBm
— Aurora Fire Rescue (@AuroraFireDpt) January 24, 2022
“The flames were everywhere,” Irving Sikkink, a 26-year-old who lives next to the apartment building, told The Denver Gazette. “Everyone was scared and panicking. People were losing their apartments and losing their lives.”
Firefighters found the 5-year-old boy inside. He was quickly taken to the hospital, but he died from his injuries, police said.
Neighbors told The Denver Post they heard his mother screaming “my baby!” as the fire quickly moved across the building.
“That scream from the mother,” neighbor Jazmine Murray told the newspaper. “That really got me.”
Police said they believe 37-year-old Alondra Michel was involved with starting the fire after a “domestic violence incident” with a resident on the main level of the building.
“Alondra intentionally set something inside of the apartment on fire, which quickly spread to adjacent units, including the second story apartment where the 5-year-old was found,” police said in a news release. “This investigation is now being considered a homicide.”
Michel was arrested on charges of first degree murder and first-degree arson, police said. She was also charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder.