KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Prosecutors said a Kansas City, Kan., man killed his girlfriend before setting a fire in her apartment that killed her young niece.
Curtis T. Horn, 37, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of aggravated arson and 15 counts of endangering a child, Wyandotte County district attorneys announced Tuesday.
Prosecutors said Horn killed 34-year-old Brandi S. Johnson, then set her apartment on fire.
When fire crews arrived, Johnson's niece, 2-year-old Amiyah McClenton, had critical injuries, including smoke inhalation and burns. Amiyah later died at a hospital.
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As neighbors pick up the pieces of what's left of their lives, they're thankful they survived at all.
"That could've happened to us," said Lucy, a neighbor who was sleeping across the hall when the fire started. She declined to give her last name.
She woke up only when another neighbor pounded on the door.
Not only was Lucy staying at her sisters apartment, just like Brandi Johnson, but she too was watching her 2-year-old niece along with three other children.
"He's going to have to pay, because it's unthinkable," Lucy said.
Prosecutors said 15 children were in the building at the time of the fire, and they charged Horn with aggravated endangerment for each one.