The Topeka Fire Department responded to a structure fire located at 1034 SW Mulvane, just after 3:00 AM on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Upon arrival, fire crews found smoke and flames coming from the three-story multi-family residential apartment structure. Firefighters began an offensive fire attack, keeping it confined to the apartment of fire origin, with significant smoke damage throughout the remainder of the building. A search of the building revealed multiple occupants self-evacuating. One occupant was rescued by firefighters from the third floor using a ladder.
A Topeka Fire Department Investigation Unit responded to this incident to determine the origin and cause of the fire. The following is a brief summary;
- Preliminary investigation indicates the fire cause to be incendiary, (intentionally set).
- The origin of the fire was determined to have been in apartment #25.
- Estimated dollar loss – $25,000.00; of which $20,000.00 is associated with structural loss and $5,000.00 associated with contents loss.
- One dog was found deceased in the apartment of fire origin.
- One occupant was treated for minor injuries sustained during the self-evacuation of the structure.
- During the course of the investigation, a suspect was developed. Topeka Fire Investigators arrested 28-year-old Trevor Hughes of Topeka. Mr. Hughes was booked into the Shawnee County Department of Corrections on 14 counts of aggravated arson and single counts of burglary, criminal trespass, and cruelty to animals.
- The initial response to this fire involved (3) Engine Companies, (1) Truck Companies, (1) Aerial Ladder Company (1) Battalion Chief, (1) Shift Commander, and (2) Investigators.
- Assisting agencies at this incident included the Topeka Police Department, American Medical Response, Kansas Gas Service, Evergy Energy, and the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.
- Working smoke detectors were located within the structure of fire origin.
Any individuals with information about the circumstances of this fire are being asked to please contact Crime Stoppers at (785)234-0007 or Toll-Free at 1-800-222 TIPS (8477).