KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man experiencing homelessness told investigators he set fire to an apartment building where he had stayed for two days.

Rodney Boyles, 35, is charged in federal court for starting a fire Jan. 13, 2021, in the 1100 block of Benton Boulevard that injured several people.

Boyles told investigators he was under the influence of a controlled substance when he used a cigarette lighter to set fire in the rear storage room of a first floor apartment, according to a affidavit filed by an agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

He left the building with his girlfriend, their 4-year-old son and another woman after starting the fire, the affidavit states.

Boyles told investigators a person who previously lived in that apartment gave him permission to stay there.

Several residents in the four-story brick building suffered injuries escaping the fire.

A man and his fiancee were staying in an apartment when he smelled smoke and woke his fiancee. She managed to get down a stairwell filled with smoke and made it outside, according to the affidavit.

Her fiancee told investigators he opened the back door to his apartment and saw flames in an exterior stairwell.

Firefighters rescued him from the apartment and took him to a hospital.

The man later said doctors treated him for partial thickness burns to his face, acute respiratory failure with hypoxia and other respiratory problems.

Another man told investigators he jumped from his second floor apartment and suffered a broken wrist and ankle.

For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.

Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the 41 Action News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the 41 Action News Mug Shot Policy.

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