Officials rule house fire that killed two children, and one adult a homicide

From Facebook Live. WIBW's Eric Ives arrives to the scene of a deadly house fire in central Topeka early Friday morning.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:26 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Fire Department said in a release Saturday, that a Friday morning fire has been determined by investigators to have been intentionally set. Officials say the incident is now being investigated by TPD and TFD as a homicide, that is domestic in nature.

The deceased have been identified as Genny L. Fitzpatrick, 30, of Topeka, Peyton L. Tyler, 9, of Topeka, and Kourtney K. Tyler, 1, of Topeka.

Officials say Kyle J. Tyler, 32, of Holton, was released Saturday from the hospital, then transported for an interview, and later arrested, and booked into the Shawnee County Department of Corrections.

Tyler was booked for murder in the 1st degree; in the commission of a felony, aggravated arson, and aggravated child endangerment. There is no bond listed for Tyler.

An early morning fire claimed the lives of two children and one adult in central Topeka Friday morning.

The Topeka Fire Dept. said crews responded to 916 SW Warren Ave. around 5 a.m. When they arrived, they found heavy smoke and flames coming from the two-story home. The fire also, unfortunately, spread to a house south of the home where the fire originated.

A total of four people were inside the home when the fire broke out.

Crews pulled an adult and child from the structure and immediately started life-saving measures. Both were rushed to the hospital where the child was later pronounced dead.

Officials say another adult and child were found unresponsive inside the home and later pronounced dead at the scene. Topeka Public Schools confirmed later in the day that one of the children killed was Peyton Tyler, a fourth-grader at Lowman Hill Elementary.

It is with tremendous sadness that we share Peyton Tyler, a fourth-grade student at Lowman Hill, passed away this morning as a result of a fire at her home. Peyton has attended Lowman Hill since first grade. Peyton was a student that had many friends and she is known for her positivity and her joyful spirit. She was loved by many and will be missed by all of the Lowman Hill students and staff.

The family contacted the school this morning and a mental health team was in place today at Lowman Hill to ensure students received support and resources before they start their weekend. Our mental health crisis team will remain in place at the school throughout next week.

When we receive more information on memorial services, we will inform staff and families. Please keep the family uplifted in your thoughts and prayers.

TPS Letter to Parents
TPS told families Friday that Lowman Hill fourth-grader Peyton Tyler was killed in a fire.
TPS told families Friday that Lowman Hill fourth-grader Peyton Tyler was killed in a fire.(Topeka Public Schools)

No other information about the victims has been released.

The cause of the blaze is currently under investigation.