Death under investigation after structure fire, victim identified

El Paso County Coroner's Office identified victim as 52-year-old James Carroll.
Police say a fire investigation at a multi-unit home in southeast Springs is now also a death investigation.

The huge plume of smoke could be seen from miles away after the fire sparked in a home on Lakewood Circle shortly after 8 Wednesday morning.

A witness standing at a nearby gas station said the smoke seemed to balloon in size quickly.

The home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, said Colorado Springs Police Department spokesperson Lt. Howard Black.

CSPD is investigating the fire due to there being a death involved.

"We have one adult male that is deceased. Whenever we have a death at a fire we will handle it as a criminal investigation until we learn otherwise," Black told 11 News.

A neighbor, Marquis Haynes says he came outside and saw another neighbor running toward the home.

"I came out and see this black smoke billowing out of the apartment there. I went to see if I could help. The garage was halfway open, maybe not even half way. So I was trying to lift it to help out, to see if there was anybody in there. The black smoke, it was so hot. I wanted to go in but it was just way too hot,” Haynes said.

After police and firefighters got there, Haynes starting rolling with his video camera. He didn’t know someone was inside until later.

Haynes says most of the people who live in the neighborhood are retired and it's usually pretty quiet.

"For the last couple of nights they've been hearing arguing and fighting over there, and like i said it's mostly retirement here. It was strange to hear all that noise, then this morning for that to happen it was all strange,” Haynes said.

The deceased has not been identified, but some neighbors say they know who the person was.

A firefighter was injured at the scene, but Black said the injury was "very minor."

The cause of the fire and the man's death both remain under investigation.