ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. - Arson is now officially suspected as the cause of the massive fire that destroyed a condominium building near Thornton in Adams County earlier this week.
Martin Castruita Espinoza is wanted for attempted first degree murder, first degree arson and aggravated cruelty to animals, according to a press release from the Adams County Sheriff's Office.
Espinoza, age 20, is described as 5-foot-5, 135 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes. The Sheriff's Office says he is known to frequent the area of Washington St. and 88th Avenue.
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.
Anyone who sees Espinoza is asked to call 911 or Detective C. Overton at 720-322-1221.