GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — The Golden Police Department is investigating after a man allegedly knocked a hole in his neighbor’s wall, stuck a gun through the hole and started a fire at a townhome on Friday morning.
It happened at the Table Mountain Townhomes complex at 17250 W. Colfax Ave. on Friday around 3:24 a.m. FOX31 is now hearing from some of the victims who barely made it out of their homes and lost everything.
Josiah McCloud is one of several residents who barely had time to react after his apartment was engulfed in the wee hours of the morning on Friday. This past weekend, McCloud was able to see what’s left of his townhome, and it not much. He sent FOX31 videos and pictures that show the roof caved in, items burnt and charred belongings scattered everywhere.
McCloud recalled that morning and said he woke up to a loud bang from his neighbor that a unit was on fire. He said he put on his clothes, grabbed his cell phone, two dogs and took off. He added that when he turned the corner, everything was filled with thick black smoke, and it was hard to breathe.
“The flames had engulfed my entire apartment, in 15 seconds I wouldn’t have been alive,” McCloud said.
Recovering from the loss of everything
McCloud is currently staying at a hotel and shared that he just found an apartment to rent on Monday, but that comes with rent payments and purchasing a new wardrobe and appliances, furniture and housewares.
“It’s really hard to ask for things, especially money,” McCloud explained. “I’m Southern. I’m from New Orleans and it’s tough to ask for stuff, but I’m kind of forced to in this situation and it’s definitely opened my eyes that it’s OK. I’m in need, I lost everything.”
Authorities have identified a person of interest as James Gambrell, Jr. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said he surrendered late Friday at 11 p.m. and does have a military background and was described as highly paranoid. Authorities also say Gambrell also turned in an AR-15 and handgun to police.
“I can’t imagine what he was going through. Mental health is important. If he was properly taken care of, I don’t think this would have happened. I think he’s a tortured person. It’s so sad how much agony he went through to the point of trying to kill all his neighbors.”
Authorities are questioning Gambrell, and he could be facing charges.