Woman Charged with Arson After Kansas City Apartment Fire

A woman has been charged with first-degree arson after a fire destroyed an east Kansas City apartment building early Friday morning, reports kmbc.com (bit.ly/1OTGvoV)

Loukesha Smith, 37, was charged Friday and is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail after allegedly starting the fire in the 2600 block of Lockridge Avenue about 5 a.m.

Kansas City firefighters went in and helped evacuate residents. Seven units were damaged.

One resident said she was able to escape using a flashlight. Her boyfriend jumped from a second-floor window to escape. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.  A second person was also injured.

A man at the scene told authorities that his girlfriend had set fire to his mattress.

The one-alarm fire was so intense at times it forced firefighters into a back away from the building and into a defensive strategy.  A portion of the busing collapsed as the fire raged.

Fire Chief Paul Berardi said a collapse zone was declared at the scene and was marked off by tape. Two Kansas City firefighters died in October when they were struck by falling debris during an apartment building fire.

No firefighters were injured while battling Friday’s fire.

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