Residential fire in Federal Heights sparks bomb investigation, evacuations

Residential fire in Federal Heights sparks bomb investigation, evacuations

The Adams County bomb squad was called to a mobile home park in Federal Heights on Wednesday after a man torched his home and told investigators that bombs were inside the residence.

Steven Richard Truetken
City of Federal Heights Police

Steven Richard Truetken

The incident unfolded about 4 p.m. in the area of Tejon and Moselle streets, said Carlos Briano, a spokesman with Adams County Fire Rescue.

The suspect was identified by police as 56-year-old Steven Richard Truetken.

Truetken told investigators he started the fire, in part, to set off “homemade bombs in and around his home,” police said in a news release.

According to police, Truetken said “he had planned this event for some time, that he intentionally introduced gasoline into and around the home of his neighbor, and ignites the gasoline knowing that at least one person was in the home.”

He then set his own home ablaze, police said.

Several nearby residents were evacuated from their homes as a safety precaution, Briano said. No injuries were reported.

Ilda Cisnero, a resident living close to the suspect’s house, evacuated along with her family and pets to a nearby parking lot.

Cisnero said the suspect also torched a neighbor’s home.

“The man broke a woman’s window and and threw gasoline inside of her home. She managed to escape with her two children, but her home is destroyed,” Cisnero said.

The victim told Cisnero that she saw a ball of fire being thrown into her home and it was then that she escaped and called the police. She said the incident left her “troubled and devastated.”

Truetken also told investigators, according to the news release, that he had run a hose from his
water heater gas line into the home and planned to fill it with natural gas to destroy it, but he failed to activate the valve.

An investigation is ongoing. Firefighters and the bomb squad remained at the scene Wednesday night.

Other first-response agencies assisted Federal Heights, including Thornton police and fire and the Westminster, North Metro and Adams County fire departments.



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