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Police standoff, house fire on North Flora end in man’s arrest

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, May 24, 2013, at 10:33 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, May 25, 2013, at 9:05 a.m.

A felon armed with a knife engaged police in a tense standoff at his girlfriend’s Wichita home Friday after penning a “vaguely threatening note” to her and saying he’d kill her dog then burn down the house if she called 911, police said.

Sgt. Jim Merrick said the 40-year-old man, who was unwilling to yield after his 39-year-old girlfriend fled and contacted police from a local QuikTrip to report the threats, barricaded himself inside of the one-story house in the 600 block of North Flora around 6 p.m.

When officers surrounded the home and ordered him out, “he took a full bottle of lighter fluid, spread it across the carpet,” set the house ablaze and threatened police with a knife, Merrick said.

Concerned for firefighters’ safety, police grabbed fire hoses and forced their way into the house to douse the flames, Merrick said. Officers found the man hiding in a bedroom behind a mattress and arrested him on the three felony warrants and under suspicion of arson and making criminal threats, he said.

No one was hurt, Merrick said; the dog, found hiding under the bed, is also OK.

Merrick added that authorities called the Red Cross to help the girlfriend, whose home “is not liveable due to the fire and water damage.”

Reach Amy Renee Leiker at 316-268-6644 or aleiker@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @amyreneeleiker.

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