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August 4, 2013

Police: Duplex fire ruled an arson

A 46-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire at a duplex in southeast Wichita on Saturday night, authorities said.

A 46-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire at a duplex in southeast Wichita on Saturday night, authorities said.

Firefighters alerted police that the fire they were called to in the 600 block of South Hunter shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday was intentionally set, Police Sgt. Bart Brunscheen said. The duplex where the fire occurred is just south of Kellogg and just east of Woodlawn.

A witness told investigators that they saw the suspect exiting his apartment in the duplex and also saw “a line of fire” behind him, Brunscheen said. The man claimed a grease fire in the kitchen got out of control, but investigators found evidence that the fire was fueled by lighter fluid and a lighter had been used to start it.

The man was arrested in connection with the incident, records show. The investigation showed the fire may have been set in response to an argument between the man and his female roommate, Brunscheen said.

A damage estimate for the fire has not been released. No injuries were reported, Brunscheen said.

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