LAKEWOOD, Colo. (TCD) – Two boys, ages 14 and 12, stand accused of starting a fire that killed a mother and her daughter in retribution after allegedly getting kicked out of an apartment unit.
In a news release, the Lakewood Police Department announced that on Oct. 31 at approximately 4:15 a.m., officers and West Metro Fire responded to the Tiffany Square apartment building to a report of a structure fire. All residents of the 32 units were reportedly displaced, and 14 units suffered damage from the fire.
According to police, 31-year-old Kathleen Payton and her daughter, 10-year-old Jazmine Payton-Aguayo, were found deceased inside one of the units. Ten people reportedly suffered injuries from the fire, with seven treated and released, including a firefighter who suffered from smoke inhalation. Police said three of the victims were transported to the hospital.
The two juvenile male suspects were reportedly arrested and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson. Police did not release their names due to their ages.
The suspects were staying inside one of the units on the night of Oct. 30, and they were thrown out before starting a fire near the complex, the Denver Gazette reports. Prosecutors reportedly said witnesses saw the boys flee, but then the 14-year-old returned with "something glowing in his hand," described as a "Molotov cocktail or other incendiary."
The 12-year-old allegedly told his grandmother he set fire to the building.
According to the Denver Gazette, the suspects’ next hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 10, and it is unclear whether they will be charged as adults.