AURORA, Colo. — The woman who started a large fire at an Aurora apartment complex in January of last year that killed a 5-year-old boy pleaded guilty to four counts related to the deadly fire.
Alondra Michel had faced 34 counts, including multiple counts of attempted murder and arson, but those were dismissed as part of the deal where she pleaded guilty to just four charges and a sentence enhancer:
- One count of second-degree murder
- Three counts of first-degree arson
- Violent Crime – causing death or serious bodily injury
A sentencing hearing is set for June 16.
>The video above is a prior report about the boy killed in the fire.
According to an arrest affidavit from the Aurora Police Department, Michel set fire to a blanket inside a ground floor apartment after an argument with her boyfriend over text messages.
Aurora Fire Rescue responded to the complex at 15320 E. Evans Ave. around 1:30 a.m. Jan. 24, 2022. Fire crews rescued multiple people from the building. Crews searched the three floors for potential victims and evacuated nine patients. Three people were taken to the hospital.
Abner Salmeron-Bautista, 5, was found on a bed in a second-floor unit and taken to the hospital where he died from his injuries.
Fire investigators quickly determined that the fire was intentionally set and believed it originated in a main level unit, either on the patio area of the unit or near the front door, the affidavit says.
After speaking with neighbors, investigators identified the resident of the unit and attempted to contact him. They could not reach him by phone but eventually contacted him when he returned to the complex.
He explained that he had learned of the fire at his residence from a neighbor and went on to say that he left his unit the night before, after he and Michel got in a fight.
He reported that Michel found text messages from other women on his phone and they began to argue. During that argument, he said, Michel took his phone, damaged the screen, and then hit him on the chin, which resulted in a small scratch.
The man reported that due to Michel's aggressive behavior, he left her alone in his unit around 12:30 a.m.
Investigators eventually contacted Michel, who had made a 911 call to report the fire. Her statements to them contradicted things said in the 911 call.
When confronted about her inconsistent stories, Michel said she used a lighter that she found in the apartment to set a blanket on fire and then placed it on the couch in the front room, the affidavit says. She denied putting any chemicals on the blanket.
Michel said the blanket caught fire immediately and she knew it was going "to get big," the affidavit says. She said she attempted to put water on the fire, but it had no effect.
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