Man living in Denver apartment garage opens fire hoses, floods building

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Residents in an uptown Denver apartment complex woke up to chaos Friday morning after a man who didn’t live there opened the fire hoses on five floors of the building.

“We are projecting 750 gallons of water a minute were coming into the building,” said Austin Green with SERVPRO in North Central Colorado Springs. He and fellow coworkers are working to restore the building.

It happened at the Grant Park Apartments off Grant and 20th streets. As of Friday evening, 54 out of 112 units in the building were reported to have water damage. Residents told FOX31 and Channel 2 the water was flowing out for more than 15 minutes before it was turned off.

“My unit I am in now on the fifth floor has ceiling damage, and the floors are getting warped,” said one resident who owns two apartments in the building.

A flooded underground parking garage with bicycles and cars
The Grant Park Apartments in Uptown Denver flooded on July 2, 2021, after a man living in the apartment’s underground garage opened the fire hoses on several floors. (KDVR)

FOX31 and Channel 2 spoke with several residents, many of them telling us the man who caused all the flooding was a homeless man living in a car in their underground parking garage.

“He had been living in our garage for some time. I’m not sure how anyone didn’t see him, but if he has been down there camping in our building, that’s trespassing,” the resident said.

“It’s a homeless person who did this. What is the insurance agency going to go after at that point? Who is going to be stuck with that bill?” they said.

Joe Richardson, who lives on the second floor, said that around 9 a.m. Friday, a partially nude man knocked on his door and started hollering at him. Shortly after that, the fire alarm went off.

Richardson and his wife walked out of their apartment and saw the staircases in the building were flooded and the elevators were no longer working.

He said there are security issues with the building.

“The big problem is we have a lot of points of access that need to be secured, and we need a security guard as well,” Richardson said.

Richardson showed us the car he believed the man was living in, pointing at trash scattered all around the car.

FOX31 and Channel 2 reached out to the Denver Police Department for the man’s identity and mugshot. They said he was in crisis and also had other medical needs.

DPD didn’t have any information to confirm if the person was experiencing homelessness or not.

DPD said they received the call around 9:16 a.m. and one person was located and detained, and it was determined that he needed medical help.

The apartment management declined to press charges due to the nature of the medical call. Since he was not arrested, DPD wasn’t able to provide a name.

Below is a statement from the HOA:

At approximately 9:00 am there were reports that someone was trespassing in our building, and the police were notified. At approximately 9:15 am the fire alarm was triggered by the suspect, and the suspect opened the valves on fire department connections (FDCs) on the 4th through 8th floors causing flooding that has affected almost the entire building causing an unknown amount of damage. At approximately 9:30 am several of our residents worked together to corner the suspect in the alley until he was arrested by police. Around this same time, the FDCs were closed, ending the flow of water after about 15 minutes. It has also come to light that charges have not been pressed against the suspect. Both management and the board are uncertain why charges have not been brought against the suspect and both will be working with the police to bring charges and prosecute the suspect to the fullest extent of the law. As of 6:00 pm tonight there were 54 units known to be affected by the flooding. As we make contact with additional owners we expect that number will increase.

Chris Stokowski, Grant Park HOA

Multiple residents said just a few weeks prior there was a homeless camp across the street. The city removed it in about three weeks, they said.

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