UPDATE: 2 Arrested For Deadly Fire Near Kansas State

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
Manhattan officials say a Kansas State University researcher died in a fire at an apartment near the campus.

820 Sunset Ave. in Manhattan.

KSU Release:

Kansas State University is helping students affected by a fire at an off-campus apartment building around midnight Feb. 7 that killed a university postdoctoral researcher.

Vasanta Lakshmi Pallem, 34, who worked in the university's chemical engineering department, died of smoke inhalation at Mercy Regional Health Center, where she was transported from the blaze at 820 Sunset Ave. in Manhattan.

Most of the occupants in the building, just adjacent to campus, are university students. No one else was injured in the fire.

Heather Reed, associate dean and director of student life, said the university worked to find living accommodations for students displaced by the blaze, all of who are now in hotels or staying with friends. The university is offering support to K-Staters impacted by Pallem's death.

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UPDATE: Friday, February 8, 2013
Two Manhattan residents have been arrested in connection with an apartment fire that killed a Kansas State University researcher earlier this week.

The Riley County Police Department says 20-year-old Patrick Martin Scahill and 19-year-old Virginia Amanda Griese were arrested Friday on suspicion of felony murder and aggravated arson. Both were being held on $1 million bond.

Investigators did not say how they tied the suspects to Wednesday night's fire at a 12-unit apartment building near the Kansas State campus.

The only injury was to 34-year-old Vasanta Lakshmi Pallem, a postdoctoral researcher in chemical engineering. She was found in her apartment and died later of smoke inhalation.

Phone numbers for Scahill and Griese could not be found.

Authorities have not said where or how the fire started, as the investigation continues.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Manhattan officials say a Kansas State University researcher died in a fire at an apartment near the campus.

The Manhattan Fire Department says 34-year-old Vasanta Lakshmi Pallem died of smoke inhalation after being taken to a hospital late Wednesday. No one else was injured.

Pallem was a postdoctoral researcher in the university's chemical engineering department.

KMAN reports the university worked with other students who were displaced by the fire. They were all staying in hotels or with friends by Thursday morning.

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