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Fire leads to drug arrest
in Florence

Staff writer

A kitchen fire started by an electrical appliance Thursday in Florence was followed by a woman being booked into the Marion County jail on charges of child endangerment and possession of paraphernalia.

Lacey Bailey, 29, was present in the house at 210 W. 11th St. with her two minor children when a person in the neighborhood reported smoke coming from the house.

Florence Fire Department responded at 5:19 p.m. and reported the fire contained at 5:33 p.m. A unit from Marion Fire Department equipped with a thermal imaging camera was dispatched to aid in assessing the scene.

Florence Fire Chief Mark Slater said a Kansas State Fire Marshal investigator determined an electric toaster oven in the kitchen caused the fire.

“We’re a small department, so we call in the state fire marshal any time there’s a structure fire, just to be sure,” Slater said.

Florence Chief of Police Mike Stone declined to provide specific details about the nature of the evidence that led to Bailey’s subsequent incarceration on charges of endangerment and possession. Stone said the children were placed with a “close relative.”

“I can’t elaborate on it a great deal, but we’re going to do everything we can to look into the matter,” Stone said. “It was a pretty chaotic situation and there are a lot of things and factors to go into.”

The cause of the fire as determined by the state investigator is inconsistent with drug manufacturing, Stone said, noting that Bailey was charged only with possession of paraphernalia. The investigation of charges is ongoing.

“We’ll be working with the county attorney and the sheriff. We’re going to take this as we go and look out for everybody’s best interest,” Stone said.

Temporary protective custody of children can be extended by a judge if a petition to do so is filed by a county attorney within three working days. Marion County Attorney Susan Robson said Monday she had not seen any information that would cause her to file such a petition.

Last modified June 21, 2012

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