Man Jailed Over Grass Fire Near Kansas Governor’s Mansion

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
February 8, 2023US News
Man Jailed Over Grass Fire Near Kansas Governor’s Mansion
The Cedar Crest in Overland Park, Kan., in July 2022. (Google Maps/Screenshot via NTD)

TOPEKA, Kan.—A 36-year-old man remained jailed without bond Tuesday after authorities said he intentionally set a grass fire near the Kansas governor’s mansion that burned 6 acres (2.4 hectares).

Police arrested the man, a Topeka resident, while firefighters worked Monday afternoon to put out the blaze, the Topeka Fire Department said. Authorities said the man had been seen lighting the fire.

Though the fire department needed nearly two hours to put out the fire, the blaze was contained quickly south of the governor’s residence and never got closer to the mansion than between 200 yards and 300 yards (180 and 270 meters), city spokesperson Rosie Nichols said.

Gov. Laura Kelly was not at the mansion when the fire occurred.

The man has not yet been formally charged with a crime, but authorities listed the potential offense as arson. It wasn’t clear whether he has an attorney yet.

The governor’s mansion, known as Cedar Crest, sits on 244 acres (100 hectares) overlooking the Kansas River in west Topeka, and the grounds include hiking trails.

The home was built in 1928 by the Topeka State Journal’s publisher, and he and his wife decided that upon their deaths, the state would be given the chance to use it as the governor’s residence. Governors have occupied it since 1962.

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