Charge filed in Kansas City arson

03/21/2014 3:00 PM

03/21/2014 3:00 PM

A homeless man was charged Friday with setting one of three arson fires that damaged vacant buildings Thursday in northeast Kansas City.

Jackson County prosecutors charged Matthew J. Ballard with second-degree arson for allegedly starting a fire that damaged a vacant duplex in the 3700 block of East 9th Street.

A witness identified Ballard as the person they saw entering and leaving the structure shortly before the fire, according to court documents.

That fire was one of three that broke out within minutes Thursday afternoon in a small area.

Ballard was arrested nearby and a bag he was carrying contained a piece of burned wire, according to court documents. He also had a lighter in his possession when he was arrested, the documents said.

No one was injured in the fires.

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