Public safety officials ask for information on recent arsons

Police and fire officials are asking the public for information about a recent series of fires that have been intentionally set at occupied apartment complexes in Lawrence.

The fires have been set between Oct. 19 and Nov. 4 at apartment complexes “in an area from West 23rd Street to West 25th Street and from Iowa east to Naismith Drive,” according to the release.

Apartment complex residents are “asked to remain vigilant and ensure their apartment smoke alarms are in working order and all combustible materials be removed from hallways and exit ways.”

The release did not list specific dates or locations of the fires. On Monday, the Journal-World spoke to Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Chief Mark Bradford, who declined to provide more information, including where and when the fires were, as well as how many have been set.

“At this time I will not be providing any specific information regarding the incidents as it is an ongoing investigation,” he said.

The Journal-World plans to file an open records request with the department for more specifics about the fires.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Lawrence Police Department at 830-7430, or the TIPS hotline at 843-8477.

The Journal-World, using information provided by news partner Operation 100 News, identified the following four fires that occurred in the area identified by officials:

• Nov. 4, 4 a.m., 2350 Ridge Court: A fire on the third floor where books or toys were set on fire in a hallway. Crews extinguished the fire and no one was injured. The fire was believed to be intentionally set.

• Nov. 2, 3 a.m., 1500 block of West 24th St.: A pile of newspapers was on fire in a stairwell, but crews extinguished the fire. Witnesses reported seeing someone run from the scene.

• Oct. 27, 1:48 a.m., 1700 block of West 24th St.: Caller reported a piece of paper on fire. No major damage, no injuries.

• Oct. 24, 3:58 a.m., 2400 block of Redbud Lane: Reports of a burning piece of paper that was extinguished before fire crews arrived. The fire was initially investigated as an arson.