Arrest made after fire threatens structure in Manhattan

Daniel Lee was arrested in association with a fire that threatened the Hunter's Island neighborhood. The fire started in his home and damaged a camper and utility trailer. (Photo by Kyra Case | Collegian Media Group)

Editor’s note: Added the article’s teaser to the beginning of the article.

Daniel Lee, 39, was arrested Sept. 18 in association with a fire that threatened the Hunter’s Island neighborhood in Manhattan.

Riley County Fire District #1 and Manhattan Fire Department were dispatched to Hunter’s Island for reports of smoke and fire at 11:15 a.m. Monday, according to a news release by Riley County Police. First responders and volunteer firefighters discovered a flame threatening two homes upon arriving at the scene. 

Lee reportedly hit a 48-year-old man with a kitchen pan causing lacerations. The victim was transported to Via Christi for treatment of his injuries. Lee also reportedly burned electronic items belonging to the victim.

Crews extinguished the fire. A camper and utility trailer sustained damage.

Brad Jager, administrative captain for the Riley County Police Department, said the case is still under investigation. 

“The police department made the initial arrest and the Kansas fire marshal is investigating it,” Jager said.

Michelle Horstneir, secretary at Riley County Fire District #1, declined to comment “because the case is under investigation.”

Mike McKeeman, Lee’s neighbor, said Lee had a history of arson, drug possession and other petty crimes.

“If I had my way, I would have let the whole place burn down,” McKeeman said. “He caught the house on fire one other time when I was heading home for lunch and was driving back to town. I saw it burning and make no mistake, I called 911 … got a neighbor out here, they just keep going back and forth, and he [the neighbor] had three tires punctured on his vehicle. Meth is a bad thing.” 

After the initial investigation, Lee was arrested for aggravated domestic battery and arson. He is held at the Riley County Jail on $20,000 bond.