Man stops arson attempt at apartment - KCTV5

Man stops arson attempt at apartment

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Quick action by a man in Overland Park, KS, helped protect his neighbor's property and even their lives after he stopped a suspected arsonist in his tracks.

It happened inside apartments at 91st Street and Nieman Road. A man noticed the fire and jumped into action until he said the suspect tried to stop him.

"It certainly would have got out of control had the resident not acted in a quick manner and put the fire out," said Overland Park Police Officer Gary Mason.

Just before 4 a.m. Thursday a man staying at a friend's Overland Park apartment heard a commotion in the hallway. When he looked out he saw the carpet in the hallway on fire so he quickly grabbed a fire extinguisher.

"When he started putting the fire out the resident nearest the fire came out and started to confront him and tell him not to put the fire out," Mason said.

Police said the suspect not only tried to stop the good Samaritan from putting out the fire, but when the visitor continued to fight the fire, they say the man hit him with a box and tried to push him down the stairs.

Now police are trying to figure out if the same suspect disconnected all the smoke alarms in the building a week earlier and planned all along to start a fire when his neighbors were sound asleep.

"It could have been something very tragic had it spread real quickly. We could have had a lot of people that had probably been injured," Mason said.

As of Thursday evening, the suspect remained in custody, awaiting formal charges.

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