DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Fire Department says five people died in a house fire on Wednesday morning. On Thursday morning, Muslim Advocates, a national civil rights organization, said that the five people who died in the fire were a part of the Diol family. A Senegalese-American Muslim family in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood.
Denver police have opened a homicide investigation and said there is evidence of arson in the case.
The Muslim Advocates organization released the following statement:
“We are praying for the family and friends of those killed in the fire. Our hearts are also with Denver’s Senegalese community and all Denverites. Law enforcement authorities must take this suspected murder and arson seriously. Muslims in Colorado may have been threatened by hate-motivated arson before and hate crimes in the state are on the rise.
We call on law enforcement to immediately investigate whether the deadly fire in Green Valley Ranch was motivated by hate. The family of those lost and the Muslim community in Denver deserve justice and peace of mind.”
Family members have set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs of getting the bodies back to Senegal for a traditional burial.