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Juveniles arrested in connection with fatal Lakewood apartment fire

Prosecutors allege boys, 12 and 14, may have used Molotov cocktails to start fire
Lakewood fatal apt fire_West Metro Fire
Lakewood Tiffany Square Apartment fatal fire_West Metro Fire
Posted at 12:07 PM, Nov 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-07 19:52:05-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Two juveniles accused of murder and arson after a deadly Lakewood apartment fire on Oct. 31 have been arrested.

The Lakewood Police Department said its officers made the arrests on Sunday evening. The juveniles have not been identified due to their age. However, Denver7 Investigates has confirmed through sources close to the investigation that the boys arrested are ages 12 and 14.

Both were booked on suspicion of committing first-degree murder and first-degree arson, police said. During the suspects' first appearance in court Monday, prosecutors alleged the boys may have used Molotov cocktails to start the fire.

The juveniles are suspects in the fire at the Tiffany Square Apartments near W. 9th Avenue and Sheridan that left a mother and daughter dead early Oct. 31.

Police announced on Nov. 1 that they had identified the two male juveniles as the suspects and had obtained warrants for their arrest.

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The department identified the two people who died in the fire as 31-year-old Kathleen Payton and her 10-year-old daughter Jazmine Payton-Aguayo. Police said they do not currently believe the woman and her daughter were targeted specifically.

People started calling 911 around 4:15 a.m. on Oct. 31 to report the fire. When firefighters arrived, multiple units of the apartment were fully involved, said West Metro Fire Rescue spokeswoman Ronda Scholting.

Firefighters helped to evacuate residents.

Some told Denver7 they did not hear any fire alarms, and instead heard somebody pounding on their door or smelled smoke. A few said they had to jump out of their windows. A mother, father, and child were hospitalized. Six others were treated at the scene, including a firefighter who was treated for smoke inhalation, Lakewood police said in a news release.

Lakewood Tiffany Square Apartment fatal fire_West Metro Fire

The blaze was under control as of 5:30 a.m.

The fire damaged 14 units and others were damaged due to smoke and water. The residents in all 32 units were displaced.

The cause of the fire, and how the suspects allegedly started it, remains under investigation.

"As far as types of accelerant, the way they did it, we're still looking into that," Lakewood Police Department Spokesperson John Romero said on Nov. 1. "But we are confident that we know who the two are that started this fire and killed that mother and daughter."

During Monday's appearance, a judge ordered the two boys to be held without bond pending their next court appearance, which is Thursday.