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Man faces arson charges in connection with fire at Lakewood apartment

A fire that displaced several people early Friday was intentionally set after a disturbance, according to West Metro Fire Rescue.
Credit: West Metro Fire Rescue
An apartment fire displaced several people at West 14th Avenue and North Harlan Street in Lakewood on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021.

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A person of interest was in custody after a fire was intentionally set at a Lakewood apartment building early Friday, according to West Metro Fire Rescue (WMFR).

The suspect, identified as 48-year-old Daniel McWhinney, is being held at the Jefferson County Jail on charges of first-degree arson, reckless endangerment, felony criminal mischief and third-degree assault, according to a spokesperson for the Lakewood Police Department (LPD).

Just after midnight, crews responded to the fire at a small apartment building at West 14th Avenue and North Harlan Street, which is just south of West Colfax Avenue and west of Sheridan Boulevard. There were five units in the one-story building, WMFR said.

Credit: Courtesy Lakewood PD
Daniel McWhinney is being held on charges for first-degree arson, reckless endangerment, felony criminal mischief and third-degree assault.

LPD agents were already on scene for a disturbance call at that location when the fire broke out, according to a WMFR spokesperson.

The apartment unit where the disturbance happened was a total loss in the fire. Two people were displaced from that unit and received help from the Red Cross, and a third person, identified as McWhinney, was taken into custody, the WMFR spokesperson said.

Another unit was damaged, according to WMFR. Three people were displaced from that unit who didn't require Red Cross assistance.

Prior to being taken to jail, McWhinney was taken to the hospital for evaluation and was "combative" with agents on the way there, according to LPD. Once at the hospital, an LPD spokesperson said that McWhinney assaulted a security guard.

The investigation showed that the fire was intentionally set. The cause was still under investigation, the fire agency said.

This story is developing and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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