Landlord, neighbors worried after suspicious fire occurs at Kansas City home where man was just killed

Picture of police at fire at 69th Street and Monroe Avenue
Data pix.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police are investigating a suspicious fire that happened Friday at the same house where someone shot and killed a teen on Wednesday.

This is the latest incident near 69th Street and Monroe Avenue in what appears to be a series of connected crimes.

Neighbors told FOX4 they thought they were finally going to have some peace and quiet on the block, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

At about 7 a.m., a neighbor said he saw a huge fire burning inside the home. Firefighters arrived to find the house empty, and no one was hurt putting out the blaze.

A battalion chief said the cause is under investigation, and police quickly cordoned off the area as a crime scene.

That's because just two days ago, investigators said someone outside the house sprayed it with gunfire, killing one man inside.

The property owner said he rented the recently remodeled home to a woman with young children, and he can't believe it's now become the focus of crime.

"It’s in my neighborhood,"  Damek Hayden, the landlord, said. "My grandma stays just right up the street, and I care about all the people that are around because they are like family."

Police are investigating a possible connection between the homicide on Monroe Avenue and another killing earlier Wednesday near 23rd Street and Wheeling Avenue, where a man was killed and a bullet also hit a young child.

Neighbors on Monroe Avenue said the Wheeling Avenue homicide victim was well-known to them. Some said they saw him so much at the Monroe house that many believed he lived there.

Although Hayden said he rented the house to a woman with children, neighbors said they mostly saw the house occupied by groups of young men, about a dozen at a time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline anonymously at 816-474-8477 or the KCPD Homicide Unit at 816-234-5043. A reward of up to $25,000 is available for information leading to an arrest in either murder case.

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