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Archive for Friday, August 11, 2006

Suspect charged with arson in fatal fire

August 11, 2006

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— A Topeka man was charged Thursday with setting a fire that destroyed a four-unit apartment building and killed one tenant.

The criminal complaint filed by U.S. Atty. Eric Melgren charges Frank J. Robinson, 30, with one count of arson.

Marvina Washington, 53, who was blind, died in the blaze Tuesday morning.

Several other people escaped before the two-story building became engulfed in flames.

A 43-year-old woman, Sheila Ansley, was badly injured when she jumped from an upper-story window.

According to court documents, witnesses reported seeing Robinson at the building when the fire broke out about 7 a.m. in a front stairwell.

Investigators said an accelerant was used to start the deadly blaze.

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