KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – Neighbors say thankfully everyone inside an apartment building near 12th and Indiana Avenue got out safely. Fire investigators believe there were three separate areas of origin for this fire. It wasn’t the first fire that night.
On September 7, someone went around the neighborhood popping open fuel doors trying to start fires near gas tanks.
“I heard sirens,” Lois Swimmer whose daughter’s car was damaged said.
Gas caps melted. Other vehicles had fires started inside them singeing seats. Firefighters were spread out responding to multiple reports of fires.
“It was boom, boom, boom, boom,” Swimmer said.
Swimmer says she told tenants to go check on their vehicles after she saw damage. She wondered if more than one person was starting fires because there were so many so quickly.
“I looked and my daughter’s car was smoking,” Swimmer said.
She says someone tried to start a fire by stuffing burning objects through her daughter’s sunroof and by shoving burning objects into the vehicle’s gas filler neck. Firefighters found burning objects in the gas filler necks of other vehicles in the area.
“I really feel bad for everyone that got their vehicles torched. They need their vehicles,” Swimmer said.
Including one of her elderly neighbors.
“Got into the backseat and burned his up on the inside. He does not have a vehicle at all at this time. That tears me up,” Swimmer said.
While firefighters and police were investigating and talking to witnesses, a “boom” was heard. It was the sound of the fire burning at the apartment building near 12th and Indiana. The fire caused extensive damage to two apartments and forced families out.
“Barely get up out of there. That was really sad,” Swimmer said.
Police canvassed the area and found a security camera near 12th Street had recorded video of a suspect setting rubbish on fire in the bed of a pickup truck. Dispatchers broadcast a description of the suspect and what they were wearing to officers searching in the area.
Police arrested Megan R. Edgington near 13th and Indiana just hours after neighbors reported the first fires. Officers say she was wearing the same outfit as the person seen on security video starting a fire.
Edgington is now charged with knowingly burning or exploding and is held on a $6,000 bond.