Reward being offered for information leading to the arrest of arsonist

A $2,500 reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspected arsonist targeting apartments in south Lawrence.

On Wednesday, the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire and Medical department announced The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is offering the reward after more than a dozen suspected arsons occurred between West 23rd Street and West 25th Street and from Iowa Street to Naismith Drive.

The fire department announced Oct. 19 that it was seeking the public’s help in the cases and has been working with ATF, the Lawrence Police Department and the Douglas County Sherrif’s Department, but has not commented on the number of arsons suspected.

Two weeks ago, The University Daily Kansan filed an open records request for fire reports that showed 12 total fires occurred within the suspected zone. Of the 12, nine occurred at multi-family dwellings, one occurred in an outside dumpster, and one occurred at a laundry facility. Seven of the reports listed arson as a cause for the fires.

Many of the fires occurred in hallways or laundry rooms within the complexes. No injuries have been reported, and no more than $1,000 in damage for an individual fire is listed.

Four additional fires occurred in or near the zone in the past two weeks: Nov. 19 at 1026 W. 24th St., Nov. 20 at 2413 Ousdahl Road, Nov. 22 at 2401 W. 25th St. and Nov. 25 at 1721 W. 24th St.

The fire department has not returned The University Daily Kansan’s calls requesting more information on the fires.

Anonymous tips will be accepted, and anyone with information can call the fire department at 785-830-7065, the Lawrence Police at 785-830-7430 or the TIPS Hotline at 785-843-TIPS (8477).

According to the release, the fire department “continues to ask the community to remain vigilant and ensure their smoke alarms are in working order and all combustible materials be removed from hallways and exit ways. Occupants should practice exit drills with family members.”

Laken Rapier is journalism major from Flower Mound, Texas. Read more from .

  • Updated Nov. 28, 2012 at 8:56 pm