LITTLETON, Colo. (KDVR) — A Littleton family is asking for any information that led up to their 1994 Mazda Protege being engulfed in flames in the Lilley Gulch Recreation Center parking lot.
Toby Frank said his family has owned the red sedan for 26 years. He bought it the first year he met his wife, and the car holds a lot of sentimental value for them.
“The car was legendary. Everyone who knows us knows this car. We go to Red Rocks in it. We go to ball games. and we go downtown. That’s the sad part,” Frank said.
On Sunday, while playing tennis at Lilley Gulch park, Frank said they started to notice smoke coming from the parking lot.
“You could just see flames, flames on top of where our car is parked,” said Frank’s daughter, Kenna.
At first, they just assumed it was someone setting off fireworks called smoke bombs, but as they got closer to the car, they realized it was on fire.
Frank said they called 911. He tried to get into the car and save his daughter’s sketch book, but he said everything else was a total loss. But then he noticed something suspicious right next to the car.
“There were a ton of fireworks left in the next parking bay over right next to the car,” Frank said.
Frank said he believes a group of teens may have accidentally shot one in through the car’s open windows. He said investigators gathered most of the fireworks and a couple of Bang Energy drinks from the scene as evidence.
Surveillance video also captured some of the scene, showing “four kids” running away, Frank said.
When FOX31 and Channel 2 arrived on scene, a fire investigator was inspecting the car. He told Frank they are looking for additional video footage to help identify the suspects.
West Metro Fire said the situation is still under investigation, but if you have any information, they ask you to contact their lieutenant in investigations at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frank said he wishes those responsible would have stuck around and taken responsibility for their actions.
“Don’t blow up people’s stuff,” Frank said.
The car had 103,000 miles on it. Frank said he had liability insurance on it but doesn’t know the exact value of the car.
His daughter said that the car’s monetary worth doesn’t matter.
“Everybody knew it: my friends, her friend, his friends. It was all known as the red car,” Kenna Frank said.