TOPEKA (KSNT) — The Topeka Fire Department is calling a Sunday morning fire where a man was found dead arson.

In a press release issued to the media Monday morning, the department said a preliminary investigation indicates the fire was incendiary, or intentionally set.

Investigators estimated the dollar loss at $121,540.

Upon arriving at the scene, Alan Stahl, a spokesperson for the fire department, said they initially wanted to fight the fire offensively.

When the first firefighter walked into the house, he immediately fell through the floor and into the basement. This then became a “Mayday” situation, which focuses on recovering a lost or injured firefighter.

After recovering the firefighter from the basement, they began fighting the fire defensively, meaning from the outside of the home.

Law enforcement confirmed that there was only one man inside of the home at the time of the fire, and he was found deceased. Police identified him as Palmer S. Thompson, 29, of Topeka.

Just after 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Topeka fire crews were called out by concerned neighbors to the 300 block of NE Spruce Lane to a house fire.

TPD released a statement Sunday morning, saying the man was determined to be dead “under suspicious circumstances.” However, by Monday the fire department believed the fire was intentionally set.

More details of the fire will emerge as the investigation continues. Anyone with information about this fire is asked to email or call the Topeka Police Criminal Investigation Bureau at 785-368-9500. You can also make an anonymous tip by calling Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007 or online at