Fatal Fire Investigation
On the morning of February 7, 2023, at approximately 04:23 a.m., Fort Collins Police received multiple calls of a fire in the 2000 block of Churchill Court in Fort Collins. When officers and Poudre Fire Authority firefighters arrived on scene, they found the home fully engulfed by flames. Due to the intensity of the fire and potential instability of the structure, firefighters worked to extinguish the fire from the outside of the residence. Fort Collins Police Detectives responded to the scene to begin an investigation given the nature of the incident.
Detectives worked to confirm the location of individuals associated with the residence but were unable to reach an adult female that lived there. Fort Collins Police Officers provided scene security on the residence throughout the night. While officers were watching the home, they noticed an adult male near the scene. This male was contacted and identified. It was discovered that he had warrants for his arrest and there was an active protection order prohibiting him from being near the residence. The male was arrested and interviewed by detectives before being booked into the Larimer County Detention Center on the warrant as well as a new charge of Violation of a Protection Order. It is important to remember that all charges are simply an accusation by law enforcement, and all parties must be presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
On February 8, 2023, a Larimer County Search and Rescue HRD (Human Remain Detection) Canine, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Denver Field Division Special Agents, ATF Certified Fire Investigators and an ATF Accelerant Detection Canine assisted with the investigation. The residence was deemed safe to enter and investigators located what is believed to be a deceased adult’s remains inside the home.
“I’m grateful for the strong relationships we have with our regional and federal partners. Our detectives are working seamlessly with them and the resources available to figure out what happened in this case and will continue to do so until more questions are answered. Our hearts go out to those impacted by this tragedy,” said Lieutenant Jeremy Yonce who oversees the Fort Collins Police Detectives investigating this case.
The Larimer County Coroner will determine official cause and manner of death and will identify the decedent at a later date. Police do not believe there is any ongoing public safety threat to the community. Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire and if this incident was accidental, intentional, or criminal.
Anyone with information, who has not already spoken to police, are asked to contact Detective Corporal Tessa Jakobsson at 970-221-6575 or Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868 or www.stopcriminals.org. No further information will be released at this time.