WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) –
Authorities say a woman has been arrested in connection to a fire that caused an estimated $230,000 in damage at a tattoo parlor in Wichita’s Delano District.
Daniel Pillow looked around his shop, Idle Hands Tattoo & Piercing. He said it’s 24 year of hard work gone. His employees spent an emotional morning packing up and moving out.
“It’s their livelihood, too, that was taken from them,” he said. “I’m more worried about them than anybody.”
Fire crews and officers were called early Thursday morning to the fire at 929 West Douglas. Capt. Jose Ocadiz with the Wichita Fire Department said crews arrived to find heavy fire in the rear of the building and evacuated everyone on the second floor, which is residential space.
After the fire was brought under control and extinguished, investigators determined the fire had been intentionally set.
Officer Charley Davidson said 36-year-old Cassie Grover was arrested at the QuikTrip at Douglas and Seneca without incident.
“We know that she had kind of a proclivity to be on the kooky side sometimes, but not like burn-my-place-down kooky,” Pillow said.
Grover was booked under the name Cassie Jane Cooper for burglary, theft and aggravated arson. Pillow said she’s a former employee.
“She actually relieved herself of the position, so apparently she was a little more disgruntled than everyone thought. She cleaned out our safe. She cleaned out all my guys money. She was found with one of our bank bags.”
It’s been a tough year for Pillow. He’s lost his wife, his best friend, his leg and now his business.
He said, “We’re at ground zero right now. I’m still trying to wake up from a bad dream.”
Capt. Ocadiz said the fire caused an estimated $80,000 in damage to the structure and $150,000 in damage to its contents. No injuries were reported.
Already overwhelmed by an outpouring of support, Pillow knows the community will rally around him.
“Just gotta stay strong. Right? Every day is a good day. I believe that wholeheartedly.”
A GoFundMe has been set up for anyone who wants to help Daniel.