Federal Heights fire prompts bomb investigation, evacuations; suspect arrested

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FEDERAL HEIGHTS, Colo. — Two mobile homes caught fire in Federal Heights on Wednesday afternoon.

The Federal Heights Police Department said a resident claimed he started the fire near West 92nd Avenue and North Tejon Street and that there were explosives in the home.

The man, 56-year-old Steven Truetken, was taken into custody.

The Adams County bomb squad was called to investigate his claims.

Police were forced to block access to the neighborhood during the investigation.

A number of neighbors were evacuated and remained out of their homes late Wednesday night.

Police said they received information when they first responded that someone poured gasoline on a home and set it on fire.

“He had planned this event for some time, that he intentionally introduced gasoline into and around the home of his neighbor, and ignited the gasoline … knowing that at least one person was in the home,” police said.

“He then set his own home ablaze. He further added that he had run a hose from his water heater gas line into the home and planned to fill it with natural gas in order to destroy his home, but failed to activate the valve.”

Police also said Truetken told about his motivation and work was being done to verify his statements.

Neighbors will be allowed to return to their homes once the bomb squad determines the scene is safe.

The American Red Cross said there were about a dozen families who had to find other places to stay for the night. It was unclear how long the evacuation order would last.

Firefighters from several agencies responded to extinguish the flames.

The fire sent up black smoke that could be seen for miles beginning around 4 p.m.

There were no injuries reported.

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