Topeka woman faces arson charges for multiple grass fires

Colleen Knoxsah, 43, of Topeka, faces arson charges for multiple grass fires that were in west...
Colleen Knoxsah, 43, of Topeka, faces arson charges for multiple grass fires that were in west Topeka on Tuesday, January 10.(Shawnee Co. Department of Corrections)
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 10:45 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Fire Department responded to three grass fires on Tuesday, January 10, and the investigation lead to the arrest of one Topeka woman accused of causing the fires.

Just after 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, TFD firefighters were called to respond to a grass fire in the 1500 block of SW Cheyenne Hills Rd. Crews were able to extinguish the fire before it damaged structures nearby.

TFD said that soon after they arrived, fire crews were also called to the 5800 block of SW Drury Ln. To extinguish a fire near an assisted living facility. TFD’s report said firefighters quickly extinguished that fire with the help of staff on-site.

Then after that fire call, there was another grass fire reported in the 1400 block of SW Glendale Dr. Fire crews south of Topeka were called to assist with the grass fire while TFD extinguished the other grass fires.

Upon further investigation, a description of a suspect that allegedly started the fires was obtained, located, and questioned. According to the fire department, investigators determined that the suspect was allegedly responsible.

The suspect, Colleen Knoxsah, 43, of Topeka, was arrested by a Topeka Fire Investigator with the help of a Topeka Police officer and the Chief of Investigations from the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s office. Knoxsah was booked into the Shawnee Co. Department of Corrections and now faces three counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson.

The Topeka Fire Department Investigation Unit conducted a preliminary investigation into the cause of the fires, and the unit classified the fires as incendiary.