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Homeless man arrested in Bible fire at Union Rescue Mission

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, at 2:58 p.m.
  • Updated Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, at 6:29 p.m.

A 30-year-old homeless man has been arrested in connection with a small fire at the Union Rescue Mission on Thursday that forced the evacuation of the homeless shelter, a fire department official said Monday.

The fire was reported at 7 p.m. Thursday at the shelter at 2800 N. Hillside, Capt. Stuart Bevis said. Someone set a few Bibles in a box on fire in a library.

Shelter staff members responded quickly and used a fire extinguisher to put out the fire, he said.

“The staff up there is well-drilled,” Bevis said. “They did a good job” responding to the fire.

There were 136 people in the structure at the time of the fire, he said, and they had to be evacuated because the fire generated a great deal of smoke.

The suspect was arrested at about 2 p.m. Friday, Bevis said. Police officials had mentioned late last week that there might be security video that would help solve the case, but Bevis would not disclose how the suspect was identified.

He did say the suspect was known to stay at the shelter on occasion.

Reach Stan Finger at 316-268-6437 or sfinger@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @StanFinger.

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