Colorado Springs police investigating Sunstone Townhomes fire for possible charges

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Colorado Springs police say they're investigating whether or not to file charges after a massive fire at Sunstone Townhomes on March 26, despite a report last week by the Colorado Springs Fire Department that no criminal charges would be filed.

It doesn't definitively mean that charges will be filed in relation to the fire, which was started by an improperly disposed of cigarette that ignited a gas line. Lt. Howard Black with CSPD says the department consulted with CSFD and the District Attorney's Office and opened a case this week.

Arson detectives are reviewing the fire, police said, and a presentation will be made to the DA's office for a decision on criminal charges. It's not clear exactly what criminal charges would be filed.

At this time, police haven't identified the person who put out the cigarette in a planter filled with flammable potting material.

Twenty homes were destroyed by the fire, displacing dozens. Nobody was significantly injured, though several people were treated for smoke inhalation.

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The Colorado Springs Fire Department says no criminal charges are expected after a massive fire ravaged 20 townhomes on the southeast side of the city.

The fire started Monday at Sunstone Townhomes when a cigarette was placed in a planter with flammable potting soil -- the small flame then spread to a gas line that caught fire and erupted into a devastating blaze. It's still not yet clear how the gas line was compromised.

Dozens of people were left without homes because of the fire, and at least three people had to be treated for smoke-related injuries. Donations from Springs residents poured in until the point that both the Salvation Army and American Red Cross ran out of space for them.

Several Colorado Springs City Council members, CONO, and RISE announced the Sunstone Victims Fund Thursday. You can donate to that fund by visiting any ANB Bank branch or Poor Richard's Bookstore. Donations can also be made online at

The Springs Adventist Academy on Palmer Park Blvd. was taking non-monetary donations but has since run out of space after the outpouring of support. No more donations are needed at this time.

Unless additional evidence turns up that indicates foul play, no charges will be filed.


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