Pueblo men charged in connection to house fire that killed three people

Josey Spets. Accused of reckless manslaughter and first degree arson.
Josey Spets. Accused of reckless manslaughter and first degree arson.(Jack Heeke)
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 6:16 PM MST
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Pueblo, Colo. (KKTV) - Josey Spets is facing reckless manslaughter charges and one charge of first degree arson after authorities say he started a deadly fire in Pueblo last year.

The fire started at a house near the corner of West 15th and Martin Streets on the night of March 13th 2021.

The arrest affidavit claims that Spets started the fire in a room he was renting from Mark Balfour. Balfour was also arrested in connection with the fire but the charges he is facing are unclear.

The arrest papers describe how at least 11 people were living in the home where the fire started.

According to arrest papers Spets told police that another man, Shawn Baker lit a chaffing can on fire so that the pair could keep warm. In the documents, Spets claims that the fire spread quickly afterwards.

The arrest papers say Baker told police that it was Spets who started the deadly fire. Baker alleges that Spets poured a bottle of rubbing alcohol on the the concrete floor of the basement and lit it using a blow torch. The arrest papers say Baker told police that when that flame began to die down Spets poured an entire bottle of camping fluid onto the fire.

Spets also admitted to using methamphetamine and heroine the night of the fire.

Two women, Shawna Walsh and Priscilla Mitchell died after being trapped in the basement. Thomas Ortega inhaled smoke and died days later inn the hospital.

The arrest papers claim that an arrest warrant was also issued for Shawn Baker.

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