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Palisade Iowa Avenue Fire Investigation Update

The following information is being released on behalf of the Palisade Fire Department and the Palisade Police Department, who hosted a press conference at 2:00pm April 10, 2024.

Palisade, CO – On Friday, April 5, 2024, at 7:15 am, the Palisade Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a large explosion that occurred at the 6-plex apartment complex located at 920 Iowa Avenue in Palisade. The subsequent fire led to the death of 18-year-old Kloey Weythman of Palisade.

When the first firefighters arrived on scene at 7:19 am, the building was fully engulfed in flames. Crews battled heavy fire conditions that spread rapidly through old construction. Due to the nature and extent of the fire, multiple units from Clifton Fire Protection District and Grand Junction Fire Department responded, along with assistance from the Palisade Police Department, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, DeBeque Marshal’s Office, and the Colorado State Patrol. Throughout the course of the incident, we received additional support from the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Denver Field Division, Xcel Energy, and the Town of Palisade Public Works.

At this point in the investigation, one fatality was confirmed, and all other residents of the complex had been located. However, the suspect remained unaccounted for. In attempts to locate him and verify his welfare, investigators discovered disturbing videos posted on his social media account, indicating that he was responsible for the fire. His phone was tracked to an area outside of Leadville, Colorado, where local authorities were contacted to attempt to locate him. Unfortunately, by the time the Lake County Sheriff’s Office arrived, the suspect had taken his own life.

We can now officially confirm the fire investigation has determined that the fire was started intentionally. There are indications that an accelerant was used and that the apartment of origin was apartment number One. Apartment One was located on the ground floor and rented to 29-year-old Andrew Alderman. The associated explosion was the result of a high volume of vapors from the accelerant within that apartment. Additional lab results will determine the exact chemical accelerant that was used. Again, there is no evidence that the explosion was due to any type of bomb or illicit drug lab. Utilities, such as natural gas or appliance failure, have also been ruled out.

We recognize this is a horrible tragedy and an immensely difficult time for Kloey Weythman’s loved ones and that so many questions remain unanswered. This investigation remains active and ongoing as investigators are committed to figuring out the reason behind this senseless act. However, at this point, we are unable to arrive at a definitive motive. Unfortunately, we may never know or be able to determine what caused the suspect to do what he did. At this point, all displaced residents have been provided with temporary housing. The Town of Palisade has partnered with the American Red Cross to collect gift cards and monetary donations for the victims of the fire. Checks should be made out to the Town of Palisade Town Hall with the notation: Fire Relief Donation.

Again, we express our immense gratitude to every first responder, partner agency, business owner, and member of the Palisade community for coming to our aid. The Palisade community is resilient, and we are stronger together.

Timeline: Iowa Avenue Fire / Homicide

  • 7:15 am First call comes into 911 at the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center
  • 7:19 am First Palisade Police Officer arrives on scene.
  • 7:21 am First Palisade Fire Unit arrives on scene.
  • 7:58 am Fire units reported that the fire was “mostly out.”
  • 11:57 am Fire officials confirmed there was one fatality on the scene and requested to notify the Coroner’s Office.
  • 12:45 pm A statewide Attempt to Locate was sent out for the suspect.
  • 1:19 pm Requested Ping on suspect’s phone.
  • 1:27 pm Investigators discovered the multiple videos posted by the suspect and reached out to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office for assistance.
  • 3:53 pm The suspect’s car was located at Dexter Point in Lake County, where he was discovered deceased.

Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®: https://crimewatch.net/us/co/mesa/sheriff/134177/post/iowa-avenue-fire-investigation-update