Man charged with 11 counts of arson for May apartment fire in Ov - KCTV5 News

Man charged with 11 counts of arson for May apartment fire in Overland Park

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Abigael Jaymes/KCTV5 Abigael Jaymes/KCTV5
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

A man has been charged in connection with an apartment fire that happened May 14 in Overland Park. 

Ronald Levon Buchanan has been charged with 11 counts of aggravated arson in connection to the fire that happened in the 8800 block of West 121st Terrace at the Spring Hill Apartments.

The fire displaced 22 residents at the apartment. One child was transported to an area hospital for minor smoke inhalation.

Buchanan appeared before a judge on Friday. 

A $50,000 bond has been requested. 

On Friday, the units were fenced off and workers are still cleaning up the damage from the fire three months later.

The families who lived in those apartments are still recovering from the day of the fire, where neighbors stepped in to help them as they escaped their burning home.

The bright glow from the fire across the street is still fresh in Christy Sprague's mind.

“It was so early in the morning,” Sprague said. “We saw the fire outside our bedroom window.”

She recognized the children who had made it outside as friends of her own children.

“This is O.P.,” she said. “ This is our neighborhood.”

Soon, her front lawn became a gathering place for more than a dozen families seeking refuge.

“Stranger or not, anyone in our neighborhood would want to help,” she said.

Jody Dean said the fire that night was so big it could have spread to her own building.

“It hurts to know someone would do that,” Dean said. “We're lucky nobody died.”

Sprague still keeps in touch with those families who had to leave. She said the school district and others in the neighborhood are helping them settle into new places and get back on their feet.

“Bad things happen but our human decency always wins the day,” she said.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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