Liberal, KS

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Meade County Sheriff’s Office Investigate Fires

Joe Denoyer - April 8, 2022 11:38 am

On Thursday April 7th, multiple fire units were dispatched to southern Meade County in response to reports of multiple fires along K-23 Highway. A witness reported a vehicle seen on the shoulder of the northbound lane. In their rear view mirror, the witness saw the vehicle merge onto the highway slowly. The witness noticed shortly after the vehicle entered the roadway, smoke developed in proximity of the shoulder in which the vehicle was parked. The witness then turned around to investigate and the saw a fire rapidly growing. Believing this to be suspicious, the witness followed the vehicle and reported it to the Meade County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspicious vehicle was stopped by law enforcement and the driver was arrested for a traffic offense unrelated to the fires. After a thorough investigation of the driver and the vehicle, it was determined that the suspicious vehicle was experiencing mechanical failures causing the engine to stop running and the driver would coast onto the shoulder. When this would happen, the driver would wait a few minutes and start the vehicle to continue their travels.

The driver was cooperative and allowed investigators to start and inspect the vehicle. Investigators discovered the vehicle had mechanical failures resulting in engine backfires through the exhaust. During the inspection flames were visibly seen coming from the exhaust pipe.

At this time, there is no evidence to indicate these fires were started intentionally.

If anyone has relevant information on the fires on K-23 Kansas/Oklahoma border please call the Meade County Sheriff’s Office at 620-873-8765.


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