Suspicious Fires In Topeka Neighborhood Becoming Commonplace

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-- Shawnee Heights Fire crews are becoming a familiar scene in the Montara neighborhood, and they were back again early Friday morning.

Fire officials say there have been around 10 fires in the Montara neighborhood since early spring, Battalion Chief Scott Price said, "We have had a number of fires in this area, not all of them suspicious but a good number of them have been."

Fire officials says the fire Friday morning at 7207 Southwest Woodcroft Way, is among them.

The fire damaged an unoccupied portion of a duplex. A resident in the area who wishes to remain unidentified, blames it on summer boredom. "I think kids have nothing else to do. There were some kids out here in the lawn at 6:30 a.m. this morning and I just think it's a bunch of kids with matches," said the woman.

In June, firefighters were called to three fires within 24 hours, two were blamed on arsonists, including a storage shed fire at the same 7207 Woodcroft Way location.

Fire officials hope neighborhood residents can pull together to stop a dangerous trend. Battalion Chief Scott says, "Be vigilant, keep a watch out and know your neighbors. If something looks out of place, report it."

The occupied portion of the duplex sustained some smoke damage but residents were told they could return Friday evening.