Former employee set fire to Wichita tattoo parlor, police say
A former employee of a Delano tattoo parlor has been arrested on suspicion of setting it on fire.
Wichita fire Capt. Jose Ocadiz said firefighters were called to a reported building fire at around 3:45 a.m. Thursday at a commercial structure. There was heavy fire in the rear of the building.
Firefighters were able to evacuate people from apartments on the second level, Ocadiz said. Most of the damage was to a tattoo parlor on the first floor. Estimated loss is $80,000 to the structure and $150,00 to contents.
“There has been quite a bit of smoke damage,” he said.
Wichita Fire Department photos from the scene show the building housed Idle Hands Tattoo and Piercing.
Wichita fire investigators and the State Fire Marshal’s office determined the fire was intentionally set, Ocadiz said. A fire dog indicated that accelerants, or ignitable liquids, were used to set the fire.
Officer Charley Davidson said that Cassie Grover, 36, was arrested on suspicion of aggravated arson, burglary and theft in connection to the fire. She was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail under the name Cassie Jane Cooper. Records show she was no longer in jail Thursday afternoon.
“Through the investigation, WPD officers were alerted of Grover being involved in the incident and fleeing the area in a vehicle west on Douglas,” Davidson said. “With the help of witnesses, Grover was contacted at the QuikTrip, 1112 W. Douglas, and taken into custody without incident.”
The QuikTrip at Douglas and Seneca is about a block west of the tattoo parlor.
Davidson said the arson case was not random and that investigators believe Grover is a former employee of the tattoo parlor.
“Wichita, Idle Hands has been burned in an act of arson ... ” Idle Hands Tattoo/piercing said in a Facebook post. “There is extensive damage and the shop will be closed until further notice. Our artists will do their best to be in touch with those who have appointments and deposits. We will update you on the progress.”
The fire and criminal investigations are ongoing, Davidson said. No injuries were reported.