House fire in suburban Denver kills five in revenge attack over stolen cellphone
In a devastating incident that shocked the community of suburban Denver, a house fire claimed the lives of five people. The fire, which occurred on August 5, 2020, was allegedly started by three teenagers as an act of revenge for a stolen cellphone that was mistakenly traced to the residence.
Gavin Seymour, one of the teens involved, has pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder. As part of a plea agreement, Seymour faces a prison sentence of 16 to 40 years when he is sentenced on March 15. The agreement also includes the dismissal of 60 other charges against him, according to The Denver Post.
The fire took the lives of Djibril and Adja Diol, their 2-year-old daughter Khadija, as well as Hassan Diol and her 6-month-old daughter Hawa Baye. Three other individuals managed to escape by jumping from the second floor of the home.
The other two teenagers involved, Kevin Bui and Dillon Siebert, were also charged with setting the fire. Siebert, who was 14 at the time of the incident, was sentenced last February to three years in juvenile detention and seven years in a state prison program for young inmates. Seymour and Bui, the alleged ringleader, were both 16 when the fire occurred.
The investigation into the fire initially faced challenges in identifying suspects. However, police eventually obtained a search warrant from Google, which revealed that Bui had traced his iPhone to the address of the home on the night of the fire. Bui, who had been robbed the month before, mistakenly believed the residents were the culprits and admitted to setting the fire. He later discovered through news coverage that he had targeted the wrong individuals.
Attorneys for Seymour and Bui challenged the search warrant, but the Colorado Supreme Court upheld its validity for this case.
The tragic incident prompted fears within the Senegalese immigrant community that the fire may have been a hate crime. As a precaution, many installed security cameras at their homes to protect against potential targeting.
Kevin Bui’s arraignment is scheduled for February 1, according to court records.
This devastating event serves as a reminder of the consequences that can arise from acts of revenge, highlighting the importance of seeking peaceful resolutions and avoiding actions that endanger the lives of innocent individuals.