TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Topeka fire investigators have arrested a teen and two minors on arson charges for the White Lakes mall building fire.
Joel Sink, 18, and the two juveniles face charges Thursday including:
- Criminal Damage to Property
- Criminal Trespassing
The White Lakes Center suffered $100,000 in damage from the fire Tuesday morning, which burned for hours after first being reported at 6:45 a.m. KSNT News Sky Tracker II caught video of firefighters on ladders battling rooftop flames at 9 a.m.
The City of Topeka confirmed it condemned the White Lakes Mall in August 2020, which meant firefighters needed to avoid going in the building for their safety. Instead, they tried to put out the mall’s interior fire from the roof.
The city’s Code Compliance Division issued citations in the past before the city condemned the White Lakes Center on Aug. 24, according to city spokeswoman Molly Hadfield. A condemnation order does not require the demolition of the building but does require certain corrections to the property before anyone can go inside or home businesses there.