Senegal president offers condolences to Denver fire victims

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An investigator stands in the doorway of a home in suburban Denver on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, where five people were found dead after a fire. Three people escaped the fire by jumping from the home's second floor. Investigators believe the victims were a toddler, an older child and three adults. Authorities suspect was intentionally set. Witnesses told firefighters that three people on the second floor of the burning home jumped to safety. A fire department spokesman said the fire's heat pushed back a police officer trying to rescue the people who were on the home's first floor. (AP Photo/Thomas Peipert)

DENVER – The president of Senegal offered his condolences on Thursday after five people who immigrated to Colorado from the West African country were killed in a suburban Denver house fire that authorities say they suspect was intentionally set.

President Macky Sall tweeted in French that he was also monitoring the investigation closely, and he wished the surviving victims a speedy recovery. Three people escaped Wednesday morning's fire by jumping from the home’s second floor and are recovering from non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators say a toddler, an older child and three adults were killed in the fire in the Green Valley Ranch neighborhood, a relatively new development of tightly packed homes near Denver International Airport.

Police, fire officials and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the fire because there are indications that it may have been arson, said Joe Montoya, division chief of investigations for Denver police. Montoya would not elaborate Wednesday on the evidence because he said he did not want to compromise the investigation.

The Denver coroner's office has not released the names or ages of the victims, who immigrated from Senegal in recent years.

Senegal Consul General Elhadji Ndao flew to Denver on Thursday at the request of his country's leaders and said he is looking forward to the investigation.

“We trust and have confidence in the legal system in this country and this city, and we have confidence that the investigation will take its course and what is proper in terms of diligence will be done,” he said, standing in front of the remnants of the charred home.

Ndao, who was joined by members of the Senegalese community who gathered to mourn the victims, added, "It’s unfortunate that a whole family was gone in this tragic event.”