Fire Ruled Arson; Two Dead, Many Still Missing

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Colorado Springs police have arrested one person in connection to the Castle West fire, saying the blaze may have been set intentionally.

Investigators discovered two bodies inside the burned remains of the apartment complex.

36-year-old Colorado Springs resident Gene Johnson is under arrest and facing murder charges. A check by 11 News shows Johnson has a criminal record.

Authorities are also asking for help locating a 1990, Gold Acura that was seen early Tuesday morning near the Castle West apartment complex.

The investigation is ongoing, and police say more arrests could be made.

If you have any information on this case police ask you to call the CrimeStoppers tip line at 634-STOP

Fire Investigators have been able to track down the occupants of 91 of the 120 occupied apartments at the Castle West Apartments.

On Wednesday, crews were able to check out approximately 70-percent of the building. The fire was still flaring up throughout the day on Wednesday.

The fire broke out around 12:45 this morning at the Castle West Apartments, not far from The Citadel mall.

Some 120 firefighters from several agencies attacked the flames, which quickly spread through the three-story building.

While it's unclear exactly how the fire started, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms are on scene, as are investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Fire Captain Glenn Conklin says it took a while to rescue people, and residents could be seen throwing other people out, and jumping themselves.

29- people were treated at Memorial Hospital, most of them with smoke inhalation, foot injuries and other problems. All but one have been released. Crews were able to rescue 62 people through windows.

The Red Cross has established a shelter nearby at the Springs of Life Church at 3407 E. Uintah

Officials are trying to account for everyone who may have been in the apartments when the fire broke out. If you had family of friends living in the Castle West Apartments, you can call 632-3563 for more information.

If you would like to make a monetary donations, you can take it to the Red Cross at 1040 South 8th Street. Officials are asking that you do not bring donations to the fire scene. Donations need to go to the Red Cross office.

Those wishing to help out can also call the United Way's 2-11 hotline.

Stay with 11 News for continuing coverage.


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