3-alarm arson fire suspect Martin Castruita Espinoza surrenders at Adams County Jail

Suspect posted on Facebook after fire

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - Arson and attempted murder suspect Martin Castruita Espinoza turned himself in Friday at the Adams County Jail, Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Paul Gregory confirmed.

"Martin Espinoza is now in our custody," Gregory wrote in a Facebook post at 11:30 a.m. "He turned himself in about 15 minutes ago. Thank you again to Channel 7 for providing the photograph of the suspect."

An arrest warrant for Espinoza was announced Thursday afternoon. He was wanted for attempted first degree murder, first degree arson and aggravated cruelty to animals, according to a press release from the Sheriff's Office.

The fire occurred Tuesday at 88th Avenue and Corona St., in Adams County just outside of Thornton. It was first reported at 1:45 p.m., according to Sandy Denne from North Washington Fire District.

AIRTRACKER7's cameras showed the flames rising high from one 12-unit building and spreading to a second, neighboring building. The three-story buildings have exterior stairwells, and at one point the flames were fully engulfing one of the entranceways.

The two people injured in the fire were contract employees.

During coverage of the fire, 7NEWS interviewed Espinoza. The video of that interview is attached to this post.

"I just happened to see everyone running toward my mom's house," Espinoza told 7NEWS, "I heard people say look at the smoke and look at the flames. So I turned around. I saw smoke start billowing up. So I ran around the side of the building to see what was happening and that's when I saw all the flames blowing out the staircase."

He goes on to describe running back to a nearby Walmart to call his sister and the subsequent arrival of the fire department. He says the firefighters arrived 15 or 20 minutes after he made that call.

He posted on his Facebook page late Thursday morning, hours before he was officially named a suspect: He wrote a long post about being interrogated by investigators right after the fire. "After the interview I was asked to give up every piece of clothing I had on so it could be taken as evidence," wrote Espinoza.

Espinoza's next court appearance is scheduled for Monday at 8 a.m.

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