ARVADA, Colo. - (Click here to follow Wednesday's developments.)
Police have arrested a former husband as an arson suspect after a burning house was found with "My wife is a cheater" spray-painted in at least two places on the outside.
Tuesday afternoon, Arvada Police identified the suspect as 31-year-old William Eugene Lindauer III, a resident of the home. He's being held on investigation of first-degree arson, reckless endangerment, prohibited use of weapons, cruelty to animals and criminal mischief. He's scheduled to make his first court appearance in Jefferson County court on Wednesday morning.
Arvada firefighters arrived at the home at 6854 Nelson Street, near 68th Avenue and Oak Street, at 1:30 a.m. and found it completely engulfed in flames, according to the Arvada Fire Department.
Wow. Neighbor Brandi Douglas just gave me this pic of Arvada "my wife is a cheater" house that exploded earlier pic.twitter.com/Q61hiGC304— Lindsay Watts (@LindsayAWatts) March 10, 2015
Neighbors said they heard an explosion that sent glass and debris flying.
A neighbor told 7NEWS Reporter Tyler Lopez it was "chaos" immediately after the explosion, with everyone trying to find three children who live in the home.
The kids and woman were not home at the time, according to a neighbor who said she called her to tell her the house was on fire. That neighbor said her husband saw Lindauer standing in the yard after the explosion, and said he didn't respond when he asked him what happened.
Lindauer has no previous arrest history in the state, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation arrest database.
According to court records, Lindauer's wife filed for divorce in October 2013. A divorce decree was issued on Feb. 18, 2014 and the case was closed, indicating the divorce was completed, records state.
On Tuesday afternoon, the former wife came to inspect the fire-ravaged home, looking around inside.
The woman declined to speak with reporters at the scene.
Neighbors said they hadn't seen her or the kids at the house in recent weeks.
"They seemed like a perfectly normal family. Such a shame," said neighbor Carolyn Moehle. "He came over a couple times to retrieve (the childrens') balls that came over and seemed like a very nice young man. I'm just shocked he had anything to do with this."
The home suffered extensive damage inside, and firefighters weren't able to enter the home initially because the floor was unstable, Arvada Fire Marshall Deanna Harrington said.
A neighbor told 7NEWS the couple had two cats and one of them had not be found after the fire. This could explain the animal cruelty charge.
Besides the "My wife is a cheater" phrase, a man's name was also spray-painted on the outside of the home.
Explosion: Arvada crews find this strange message on outside of burning home. FF say everyone accounted for. pic.twitter.com/CHSyd0zYX9— Tyler Lopez (@nonstopTLo) March 10, 2015
No neighboring homes were damaged by the fire or explosion, but neighbors spent the morning sweeping debris and glass from their front lawns, Lopez reported.
Firefighters later covered up the "cheater" graffiti with blue tarp.