Fire reported this morning at Lawrence apartment complex

Cause not yet determined, but numerous suspected arsons reported in area

Emergency crews responded to a fire Wednesday morning at an apartment complex at 1018 W. 24th St.

Fire officials have yet to determine the cause of the blaze. Investigators are looking to a string of suspected arsons reported by public safety officials during the past couple weeks in an area from 23rd Street south to 25th Street and from Iowa Street east to Naismith Drive.

Crews responded shortly before 5 a.m. to reports of a fire in a basement laundry room, according to Mike Frizzell of the Journal-World’s news partner, Operation100 News.

Responding officers reported heavy smoke coming from the building. The fire was quickly extinguished and no injuries were reported.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Chief Mark Bradford confirmed details of the fire early Wednesday morning. However, his department has not released a cause of the fire and he said it’s not known whether this fire is related to the series of arsons.

On Nov. 4, police and fire officials asked the public for information about a recent series of fires that have been intentionally set at occupied apartment complexes in that area of south-central Lawrence.

The release did not list specific dates or locations of the fires.

The Journal-World filed 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 Operation 100 News, identified these four recent fires in the area:

• 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 Street: 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.