3 charged in Eastland Drive fire

shopkins@herald-leader.comjkegley@herald-leader.comSeptember 24, 2010 

Three people were arrested Thursday morning after a fire at a mobile home park on Eastland Drive displaced a family of four, Lexington fire officials said.

The family escaped the mobile home without injury. They have not been identified.

Charles Ringo, 26, is charged with one count of third-degree arson, four counts of first-degree wanton endangerment and violation of the open burn ordinance.

According to a news release from the Lexington Division of Fire, Ringo started a fire next to the mobile home that spread out of control.

"Ringo knowingly started a fire, knew that the fire had spread to an occupied mobile home and fled the scene without calling 911 or alerting the occupants" of the mobile home, the release said.

More charges against Ringo are possible, Battalion Chief Marshall Griggs said.

William Kanatzer, 33, and Melanie Vanderpool, 31, were arrested for obstructing fire investigators in the performance of their duties, the release said.

According to court documents, fire investigators said Kanatzer lied to them and patrol officers about the "particulars of the incident," leading to the misdemeanor charge.

The fire at 1032 Eastland Drive was reported about 2:25 a.m. Griggs said a neighbor spotted the fire and pounded on doors to wake the family.

"The home, per our investigation, did not have working smoke detectors, which could have been a tragedy if the neighbor had not woken them up," Griggs said.

A burn ban has been in effect in Fayette County since Sept. 17 because of dry conditions.

Kanatzer pleaded not guilty Thursday at an arraignment in Fayette District Court. He was being held on 10 percent of a $3,000 bond. Vanderpool is scheduled to be arraigned Friday. No court date had been set for Ringo.

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