A man is in custody after the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office says a burglar alarm went off at his house while he was home, he shot “several large-yield fireworks” at the deputies who responded and caused a fire that forced multiple evacuations and killed a cat.
Leonard Francis Simonini, 45, faces two charges for fourth-degree arson, cruelty to animals, reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, obstructing a peace office and violation of bail bond conditions.
The fiery incident happened at around 8:40 p.m. Monday at Simonini’s home in the 400 block of East 57th Street near Loveland.
Deputies first arrived when a burglar alarm went off at the house and say they found the door ajar, with Simonini crouched down in a backroom. According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Simonini never said it was his home or indicated why the burglar alarm went off in the first place.
When more deputies arrived, they tried to get Simonini to exit, but say at one point, he started yelling at them. That’s when he lit the fireworks.
According to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, the house filled with smoke, so deputies left. They say Simonini came to the open door while holding a small gas torch and continued to light fireworks.
Deputies sent a K9 in Simonini’s direction, but say he ran back into the house. First responders heard several more explosions, and as the smoke intensified, they say Simonini finally walked outside and was apprehended by a K9.
The home became engulfed in flames and firefighters worked to stop the blaze from spreading to nearby homes, which were evacuated.
No one was injured expected Simonini, who was taken to a nearby hospital and treated for smoke inhalation and injuries he sustained when he was apprehended by the K9.
He was later taken to the Larimer County Jail, and as of Tuesday morning, no bond had been set.