breaking news

Bond $1M in arson at former Koneta Hotel building in Auglaize County 

Published: Sunday, December 23, 2018 @ 11:46 PM
Updated: Saturday, January 05, 2019 @ 10:00 PM

Fire at Koneta Hotel

UPDATE @ 10 p.m. (Jan. 5):

A bond has been set at $1 million for a man accused of starting a Dec. 23 apartment fire.

>> RELATED: Man charged with arson in fire that displaced more than 20

Content Continues Below

Wesley Michael Slaughter, 19, has been indicted on five felony charges of aggravated arson by an Auglaize County grand jury in connection to the fire at the former Koneta Hotel building on Perry Street.

The fire destroyed the building and displaced dozens of residents who were able to escape the fire.

>> RELATED: Last business affected by massive Christmas Even fire reopens Friday in Wapakoneta

The building at 1 Perry St. is still closed for safety purposes.

If Slaughter is convicted, he faces more than 50 years in prison.

Wesley Michael Slaughter

UPDATE @ 12:21 p.m. Dec. 26:

A man arrested in connection to a Perry street apartment complex fire was formally charged Wednesday.

Wesley Michael Slaughter, 19, was charged with aggravated arson, according to court records.

Live Doppler 7 Radar | INTERACTIVE

He is still being held in the county jail, according to the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office website.

INITIAL REPORT:

A 19-year-old man is in custody in connection with a Perry Street apartment fire late Sunday night that displaced more than two dozen people and a business downtown in the former Koneta Hotel.

Wesley Michael Slaughter was arrested on an aggravated arson charge early Monday. He remains held without bond in the county jail, according to the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office.

Slaughter lived in the building in downtown Wapakoneta, according to other residents.

When firefighters responded to the building around 11:20 p.m. they encountered heavy smoke and flames coming from the structure. Multiple fire departments, including crews from St. Marys and Botkins, were called to assist firefighters with the blaze.

Between 20 and 30 people were displaced due to the fire. The residents, who escaped unharmed, were taken to a nearby hotel for temporary housing, officials said.

“We pretty much lost everything, but we got each other here,” Amy Andrus of Wapakoneta said. “I will be OK, I had renter’s insurance. My fellow neighbors did not. I hurt for them.”

Randy’s Barber Shop, a business inside the building, also was affected. The owner is reportedly working on relocating the business and will reopen as soon as possible.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal is assisting Wapakoneta police in the investigation.

The Auglaize County Emergency Management Agency said donations for the fire victims can be taken to Mercer Unlimited at 38 E. Auglaize St. or to the Auglaize County EMA at 209 S. Blackhoof St. in Wapakoneta.
(Courtesy of: iWitness7 Reporter Jim Beste Jr.)