Woman in Domestic Violence Incident Triggers Deadly Blaze, Killing 5-Year-Old: Police

Colorado police arrested a woman Monday on murder and arson charges after investigators believe she intentionally started a fire in an apartment complex that killed a 5-year-old boy and injured several others.

According to authorities, Alondra Michel, 37, was arrested and charged Monday afternoon with first-degree murder, first-degree arson and three counts of attempted first-degree murder for a deadly apartment fire that police allege she knowingly started, the Aurora Police Department said in a statement.

Aurora police said Michel was in a domestic violence incident on a main level unit of the three-story apartment complex. According to the statement, police allege during the domestic incident she deliberately set something on fire inside the apartment, which quickly spread to nearby units, according to the statement.

At about 1:30 a.m. on Monday, fire rescue and first responders were dispatched to the structure fire at the apartment complex, authorities stated, adding that investigators immediately began looking into the cause of the fire. During a search of the building, firefighters found the 5-year-old boy in a second-story apartment unit.

Aurora police said the child was quickly transported to a nearby hospital, but he died shortly after. According to the statement, the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office has yet to determine a cause of death. No further information about the child has been reported.

Firefighters say once they arrived on the scene, they began putting out the fire and rescued multiple victims inside the burning building. A total of nine people were injured from the blaze. Three of the victims were transported to local hospitals for injuries, including the child, Aurora Fire Rescue said in a statement.

A total of twelve units were damaged in the fire and more than 30 people were displaced. Volunteers with the American Red Cross said they are providing support to those who were affected by the fire, according to the Fire Rescue statement.

"Despite the courageous and professional efforts of our members, our community has suffered a tragic loss and the entire Aurora Fire Rescue family is deeply saddened by this incident," said Aurora Fire Rescue Chief Fernando Gray Sr. in the statement.

"We are committed to providing any and all assistance to those impacted and displaced by this fire, and especially to those who are grieving today. A complete and thorough investigation will be conducted to determine the origin and cause of the fire," he added.

Police say they arrested Michel after interviews with several witnesses and from examining the physical evidence at the scene of the fire. Police say she could face additional charges pending the outcome of the investigation. The District Attorney's Office told Newsweek that it will not be commenting about an open case.

Detectives are investigating the fire as a homicide. The Aurora Police Department's Major Crimes Unit and the Aurora Fire Rescue are handling the investigation, according to the statement.

Apartment Fire Kills Child
Authorities in Colorado have arrested and charged Alondra Michel with arson and murder after investigators believe she intentionally started a fire during a domestic violence incident. Above, Aurora Fire Rescue on the scene of the apartment fire that killed a child on Monday, January 24, in Aurora, Colorado. Aurora Fire Rescue/AP Photo