Man blowing up pumpkins with fireworks caused Colorado fire, neighbors say

Posted at 10:07 AM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 10:07:30-04

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Neighbors say a field fire in Colorado was started by a man who was using fireworks to blow up a pumpkin.

The fire caused more than $70,000 in damage.

“We just heard this huge boom out back,” Brent Zeimen told KDVR.

Viewer video sent in by Chase Berry shows emergency vehicles, thick smoke and flames.

“This entire fence was just a blaze bright orange,” Sam Lewis said.

Tenants saw flames race right towards their building at the Alvista Falls Apartments.

“Someone in the apartment complex was sprinting up and down the hallway knocking on everyone’s door to get out,” Lewis said.

Lewis and his girlfriend grabbed what belongings they could and ran out along with dozens of other tenants just before 9 p.m. on Sunday.

“We look out through our front window and we just see a bright orange glow,” Zeimen said.

Roberto Saratega rushed outside with his two boys to find his white SUV engulfed in flames.

“It was like Oh my God. Really crazy,” Saratega said.

The metal of his car is melted down to the rim. The back of the apartment’s carport is charred.

Neighbors tell KDVR they saw a man in the field using fireworks to blow up pumpkins.

“Why? Why would you even start with that? It just baffles, baffles my mind,” Zeimen said.

“It’s just frustrating,” Lewis said.

Westminster Police have interviewed a person of interest in connection to this fire but have not made an official arrest.

“The reason we released him was partially because we needed the daylight to look into some of that investigative work,” Cheri Spottke, Westminster Investigator, said.

Saratega was able to salvage his child’s car seats and is thankful no one was hurt.

“It’s really scary,” Saratega said.

Police anticipate filing criminal charges later this week.