A teenage girl is suspected of starting the fire that damaged her residence early Thursday morning, authorities said.
A 55-year-old woman told authorities she woke to the sound of an explosion in her duplex at 6233 E. Eilerts, near Kellogg and Woodlawn in east Wichita, at about 4:20 a.m. Thursday and saw lots of smoke in her residence.
When she went down to investigate, she found a fire in the basement where a 13-year-old girl who is the ward of the two other people who live there, Lt. Doug Nolte said.
The girl “intentionally set one or two fires in the basement, tore out the basement window screens and went to run away with her 13-year-old boyfriend,” he said.
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Officers went to the boy’s house and learned he was gone, too.
The girl’s guardians, who are both in their 60s, escaped serious injury in the fire, Nolte said. No damage estimate has been released yet for the fire.
Anyone who knows where the teenagers may be is encouraged to call 911, he said.