Crews Investigate Monday Night Arson

TOPEKA, Kan. - The Topeka Fire Department responded to a house fire at 1532 SW Central Park, shortly after 11:00 p.m. Monday, May 11, 2009.

First on scene Fire Officials reported heavy fire and smoke showing on the exterior of the structure. Fire Officials were notified that all occupants of the structure had successfully exited the residence prior to fire department arrival.

Resident, Bobbie Goodman, said he and his girlfriend were sleeping when neighbors pounded on the door to wake them because they saw the flames.

"It was pretty scary - just the pounding on the door. We opened our eyes and everything was glowing," Goodman said. They grabbed their puppies and got out of the house. Goodman said fire crews arrived soon after. "Thank God they were close."

Goodman said a man and his four year old son were living in the home but were not there Monday night. The fire destroyed the boy's room, toys and clothes.

Goodman's truck was also set on fire.

Fire crews were able to quickly control the fire and, an investigation of this incident was initiated; the investigation determined:
• Cause (of this fire) – incendiary/intentionally set.
• Origin – exterior of building; on east side.
• Estimated dollar loss - $35,000.00 (thirty-five thousand dollars); $30,000.00 is estimated structural damage/loss and $5,000.00 is estimated content damage/loss.

There were no reported injuries associated with this incident. Fire Marshall, Greg Bailey, said he does not believe this arson is related to other arsons in the area.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Topeka Fire Department Tips Hotline at 785.368.2488 or Crime Stoppers at 785.354.0007.

A reward of up to $5,000.00 is available to individuals giving information that leads to an arrest and conviction for the crime of arson.

Anyone who wants to help the residents of the home - or any of the other 200 fire victims the Red Cross helps in Topeka each year - can make a financial donation to the American Red Cross.
Donate online or mail a check or money order to:
Kansas Capital Area Chapter
1221 SW 17th St.
Topeka, KS 66604-2899
Call 1-866-990-9910 (Chapter toll-free) or 785-234-0568 (local)
or 1-800-HELP-NOW (National toll-free hotline)

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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