WKYT - Frankfort - Headlines

Police: Man set fire to SUV outside house


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - For several hours, The Nest Preschool in Frankfort was on lockdown after police said a man torched a car nearby and got away on foot.

Around lunchtime Tuesday, workers at the daycare were startled by a noise.

"We were putting our kids down for a nap and all of a sudden we heard this big boom and it sounded like something actually landed on our roof," said Edeana Gans.

That boom was a flaming SUV just a few feet from a house behind the preschool. Police said James Russell had set fire to it after trying to get inside the house where two teen girls and an infant were inside. They said it all stemmed from a domestic incident on Monday.

"The police officers came through the building and told us that they didn't have a chance to apprehend the man and put us on lockdown. We were worried about maybe he jumped the fence and was out in our back playground. When I opened up my back shades, I didn't know what I might see," said Gans.

A group of people on their lunch break happened to drive by the house and took pictures after calling for help. Police said they found Russell later Tuesday evening at a relative's home on Cardwell Lane. They said he had burns to his face and hands. He was treated at the hospital and taken to the Franklin County Regional Jail where he faces arson and wanton endangerment charges.

A court official said Russell pleaded guilty to arson and wanton endangerment charges in 2005.


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