Citizens working to find arsonist

Ellis County arson fires (KSN File Photo)

HAYS, Kansas – It has been almost three weeks since the Kansas State Fire Marshal declared 25 fires around the Hays area to be arson.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Now, some have decided to gather money for a reward.

“I’m one of the victims of the arsonist. My wife and I lost substantial property in the arsons, so my goal is to keep someone else from going through what we’re having to go through,” said Chris Miller, offering reward.

Right now, a public reward isn’t being offered, but the sheriff’s department is very grateful for some citizens for offering one on their own.

“We’ve really been blessed with a community that is so supportive of law enforcement,” said Det. Brad Ricke, Ellis County Sheriff’s Office. “You know to go out and offer their own money to help apprehend somebody that is unsafely setting these fires is really to be commended.”

The Ellis County Sheriff’s Department has been working the case with the Kansas Office of State Fire Marshal.

They are following up on a lot of leads.

“We’ve been working all the leads that have been coming in, and at this point, we’re talking to a lot of people that are out in our community,” said Ricke. “We’ve got evidence submitted to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation lab, and we’re just keeping on with the investigation.”

Miller and some of his friends have collected $2,500 so far with the the hopes that the reward will catch the arsonist.

“If we come up with enough reward money, that person may jump on that money and tell what they know,” added Miller.

If you have any information on the arsons, you are asked to call the Hays Police Department at 785-625-1040.

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