COLORADO SPRINGS — One person is dead following a fire on Sunday evening at the Greccio Enfield Apartments in Colorado Springs.
Those with the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) said the initial call about the fire came in around 7:15 p.m. on Sunday. When they arrived at the scene, they noticed smoke and flames coming from an apartment on the top floor. Many of the residents had already evacuated.
Around 20 minutes after arriving, there were only hot spots remaining of the fire. Witnesses told firefighters they saw a man jump from a window of an apartment adjacent to the unit where the flames were. The man died on the scene. He was identified by Colorado Springs police as 66 year old Ronald Turner.
Some of the other residents were evaluated on scene for injuries. One person who was on the third floor was taken to a hospital due to smoke inhalation.
The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) is investigating the fire. A suspect, 20-year-old Trey Dove, was arrested in connection with the blaze and is facing first-degree murder and first-degree arson charges. "That's the most serious arson charge. It is a serious felony. And it has to do with setting a fire intentionally in a living area," said Lt. Jim Sokolik of CSPD.
At this point in time, Lt. Sokolik said there is no reason to believe the suspect and victim "had any more than a passing acquaintance."
News5 spoke with a woman who said she has lived at the complex since early August. Pam Kellogg claimed she knows Dove and that he came knocking on her door shortly after the fire started.
"He was just babbling," said Kellogg, who continued to say Dove was naked at the time.
Captain Mike Smaldino of CSFD told News5 the flames burned one unit, and three others were damaged by smoke because the doors were left open.
Captain Smaldino explained that it does not seem like anyone was inside the unit where the fire started, but they do not know if the suspect was in there or lived in that unit.
News5 spoke with a representative of Greccio Enfield Apartments, who said because of the age of the building they must complete "environmental testing" related to air quality for safety purposes. The representative was not able to say how long the testing is expected to last, so there is no clear answer to when residents can return home. The spokesperson said their goal is to "ensure residents have a safe place to stay."
We haven't been able to be in our apartment all day. I haven't had anything to eat today. I haven't been off my feet.
Members of the American Red Cross were across the street from the complex on Monday evening. A member told News5 they were there to provide funds and referrals to the people evacuated for "the first two to three days." It is up for the recipient of the money to find a place to stay. The American Red Cross also offers forms of counseling.