Man charged with arson following Lawrence apartment fire

A man has been charged with aggravated arson, a felony, for allegedly setting a fire inside a Lawrence apartment this week.

Benjamin C. Roberts, 27, of Lawrence, was arrested early Monday morning at 541 Michigan St., where he lives, according to jail records.

An “odor” was reported in an upstairs apartment at that address just before 1 a.m. Monday, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief Tom Fagan said in an email. Inside, firefighters discovered approximately $1,000 in fire damage to the apartment.

The incident remained under investigation as of Friday.

Lawrence police took one person from the scene to the hospital for minor injuries, Fagan said.

Roberts was booked into jail later that morning, and charges against him were filed Tuesday in Douglas County District Court. On Friday he remained jailed on $10,000 bond, according to court records.

The complaint says the dwelling was occupied when the fire was set and lists two other people with an “interest” in the property. A different person owns the building, according to county property records.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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