House fire causes $80,000 in damage

By Bethany Knipp

A structure fire left five people displaced and caused an estimated $80,000 in damage Sunday night.

There were no reported injuries from the fire at 820 Colorado St. to a two-story house converted to an apartment building that resulted in a $20,000 loss to contents and $60,000 in damage to the house’s structure.

Seventeen firefighters and Riley County police responded to the building at 9:43 p.m. where they found smoke and fire visible in the back of the structure.

The fire reached a second alarm before it was contained within 20 minutes. The last crews left the scene at 2:15 a.m., according to a report.

Five tenants were living in two of the three apartments, but two of them weren’t home when the fire struck. The building’s listed owner is Rusty Rogers of Manhattan. The RCPD reported that the present occupants were Ray Mann Spriggs, 26, Luke Johnson, 50, and Aaron Jones, 41.

Tobin Spriggs, 53, also listed as a resident of the apartment in an RCPD arrest report, was arrested at 5:35 p.m. the same evening for aggravated assault. (See police report, Page A2.)

Police have not said whether the events are connected. They are investigating both incidents.

The American Red Cross provided housing assistance for one of the tenants. Manhattan Fire Department Deputy Chief Ryan Almes said the other four occupants had family or friends they went to for shelter.

The MFD, RCPD and the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office are investigating to determine the fire’s cause.

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