A 32-year-old man identified as Kyle J. Tyler, has been arrested by the police in US state of Kansas, for intentionally setting a house on fire and killing its occupants.
Genny L. Fitzpatrick, 30, Peyton L. Tyler, 9, and Kourtney K. Tyler, 1, have been identified as the victims killed in the fire.
Tyler was arrested and booked shortly after being released from the hospital for questioning following the January 20 fire in Topeka.
A press release from the city's communications director, Gretchen Spiker, revealed that the suspect has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder committed in the commission of another felony, aggravated arson and aggravated child endangerment.
When firefighters arrived just before 5 a.m., the two-story house was completely engulfed in flames and heavy smoke. Four people were inside the home when the blaze broke out, authorities said.
An adult and a juvenile were rescued from the house and taken to a local hospital, where the child died, the release states. A second adult and child were pronounced dead at the scene.
Topeka Public Schools confirmed the 9-year-old girl's death in a statement to parents obtained by WIBW.
“It is with tremendous sadness that we share Peyton Tyler, a fourth-grade student at Lowman Hill, passed away this morning as a result of a fire at her home. Peyton has attended Lowman Hill since first grade. Peyton was a student that had many friends and she is known for her positivity and her joyful spirit. She was loved by many and will be missed by all of the Lowman Hill students and staff.”
According to Fitzpatrick's and Tyler's respective Facebook pages, the pair were in a relationship. The city spokesperson said officials cannot specify Kyle L. Tyler's connection to the victims, but added that the incident was “domestic in nature.”