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Kansas City, Missouri, man charged with arson in Caldwell County house fires from May

96-year-old woman died in 1 of house fires
Caldwell County fire
Posted at 12:00 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 17:18:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri, man has been arrested and charged with arson in three fires set May 10 in Caldwell County, one of which was fatal.

Harold Edwards Jr., 27, was arrested on Friday around 6:30 p.m. by deputies with the Caldwell County and the Clay County sheriff's offices, according to a release from the Caldwell County Sheriff's office.

Edwards has been charged with three counts of second-degree arson, three counts of second-degree burglary and three counts of property damage.

Caldwell County Sheriff Mitch K. Allen said Edwards was found through "good old-fashioned police work, reviewing pictures and videos from neighbors' surveillance cameras in the area.

The sheriff's office says that the investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected to be added.

Edwards, who has no known prior criminal convictions or ties to the area, is being held without bond at the Caldwell County Detention Center.

Authorities said the May 10 fires occurred at three homes near Polo, Missouri. The fatal fire occurred around 8:32 a.m. at Southwest Missouri D and Southwest Colt Drive.

Crews arrived at the scene and located the body of Lorene Fickess, 96, inside of the home. Authorities do not believe she was targeted.

Authorities are still waiting for the results of an autopsy on Fickess' remains before considering charges related to her death.

Two additional house fires on the same road took place over the course of the next two hours. Both homes were vacant.

The fires were put out by fire crews from Polo, Cameron, Lathrop, Hamilton, Kingston and Braymer.

The initial investigation into the fires indicated they were intentionally set, and a black Dodge Caliber was identified as a suspect vehicle.

The three fires are not connected to a fire around the same time in Lexington, Missouri.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.