KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for setting the arson fire of an apartment building in which several residents were injured.
Rodney Boyles, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to eight years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Boyles to pay $12,500 in restitution to one of the apartment building residents who was intubated for approximately nine days in the hospital while being treated for smoke inhalation injuries she sustained from the fire.
On Feb. 10, 2022, Boyles pleaded guilty to one count of arson. Boyles admitted that he intentionally set fire to a four-story apartment building at 1102-1104 Benton Boulevard in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 13, 2021. The apartment building was occupied at the time of the fire. Three occupants of the apartment building sustained serious injuries because of the fire and were transported to the hospital for treatment. The building sustained significant fire damage on all four floors of the structure.
Fire investigators determined the fire had been intentionally set. One of the residents of the apartment building told investigators that Boyles had been staying in one of the apartments with his girlfriend and her son. Investigators interviewed Boyles on Thursday, May 27, and arrested him.
Boyles told investigators he was under the influence of a controlled substance when he used a cigarette lighter to start the fire in a storage room in the apartment. After starting the fire, Boyles said, he quickly left the building with his girlfriend, their 4-year-old son, and another female.
Investigators interviewed several victims of the arson. One resident, identified in court documents as “TN,” exited her third-floor apartment using the interior stairwell. She recalled the smoke being so thick in the interior stairwell that she could not see her hand in front of her face. She was transported to the hospital, where she was intubated for approximately nine days while being treated for smoke inhalation injuries she sustained from the fire.
Another resident, identified in court documents as “BF,” was asleep in the living room when he woke up and smelled smoke. He passed out in the apartment and was rescued by firefighters. He was treated at the hospital for partial thickness burns to his face, acute respiratory failure with hypoxia, carbon monoxide and cyanide poisoning, pneumonia, and volume overload. He was placed in a medically induced coma during his hospitalization.
Two residents, identified in court documents as “RF” and “NF,” were forced by heavy smoke to exit their apartment through a front window that provided access onto a second-floor overhang so they could jump to safety. RF broke his wrist and ankle after jumping onto the ground below; he was hospitalized for 14 days as a result of his injuries.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Michael Green. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.