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Alleged arsonist appears in Johnson County court

Posted: 5:43 PM, Aug 10, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-10 18:43:06-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Ronald L. Buchanan made his first appearance Aug. 10 in Johnson County court on 11 felony counts stemming from the fire at Springhill Apartments three months ago.

Buchanan, 38, has been charged with three counts of aggravated arson with risk of bodily harm, seven counts of aggravated arson with no risk of bodily harm and one count of cruelty to animals.

He is allegedly responsible for the two-alarm fire in the early morning hours May 14, which destroyed eight apartments and displaced 22 residents.

One child was treated for minor smoke inhalation and several residents were forced to make harrowing escapes, including a family that used bed sheets to form a rope and escape through a window.

That family’s dog was missing after the blaze, but no one was seriously injured.

Buchanan’s next court appearance is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Aug. 16 for a preliminary hearing.