news 4 days ago

Handyman accused of intentionally blowing up Denver rowhome

The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — A handyman who was involved in an argument with tenants intentionally caused an explosion that leveled a brick row house in Denver, injuring nine people, including himself, authorities said.

Todd Perkins, 56, was arrested Monday on suspicion of arson and attempted murder, said Capt. Greg Pixley, a spokesman for the Denver Fire Department.

It's unclear if Perkins has an attorney.

Perkins, who lived in a camper on the property near downtown Denver, sparked the Aug. 14 explosion that destroyed the six-unit complex, Pixley said.

Perkins disconnected natural gas lines to a furnace, a stove and a water heater after breaking into one of the apartments, investigators said.

He then poured gasoline throughout the basement "to further fuel an explosion," Pixley told The Denver Post . While pouring the gas, he "inadvertently splashed gasoline over his clothing," Pixley said.

Perkins turned up the furnace to spark the explosion, but he made it only to the top of the basement stairs before it ignited, Pixley said. Perkins was blown through a wall and became buried in rubble.

Perkins and another person were hospitalized after the blast. Seven others were hurt but refused treatment.

Residents had complained that Perkins was accessing the roof to look through skylights, Pixley said. He had threatened to "get even" after being fired as handyman of the property, Pixley said.

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Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com