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Inside the Mind of an Arsonist
Investigators say there have been at least 12 suspicious fires over the past four days. The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office is still looking for the person who started Friday's fire in Luther.
The latest suspicious fire happened Tuesday afternoon in Norman. The Norman Fire Department is looking into what caused a house fire near 180th and Highway 9. That's the seventh suspicious fire in Norman since Sunday night. Fox 25 spoke with a Criminologist to find out the potential motives of a possible arsonist.
"I looked over and saw smoke coming out of the bushes beside my home," said Billy Stevenson.
Billy Stevenson came home Monday to a shocking site when he saw his neighbor's house on fire.
"I went over to alert the owners," said Stevenson. "Nobody home but the dog."
The Del City Fire Department arrested the man who was renting the home. They say he admitted to intentionally starting the fire.
"Kind of surprised," said Stevenson. "He's a long term renter there and I don't know what could have precipitated that action."
The Del City fire is just one of many over the past few days that Law Enforcement officials call suspicious.
"Whenever you're talking about someone intentionally setting fires, you're talking about someone who'se putting lives at risk," said Mark Myers, Spokesperson for the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office is looking for a person who they believe started a fire in Luther on Friday. That fire tore through 2,600 acres of land and destroyed around 60 buildings.
"This is everything that's valuable to these folks and they go back home and find it in complete ashes," said Myers.
"It sounds, just on the face, as if there are different motives for those fires," said Dr. Howard Kurtz.
Criminologist Dr. Howard Kurtz says arsonists can have a number of motives.
"Some people do it for profit," said Dr. Kurtz. "You know, if you have a business that's failing, you might want to collect the insurance on it. Some people do it for revenge. Sometimes people do it in domestic disturbances."
Now as Law Enforcement depends on the public to help provide information about the fires, Billy Stevenson says he's glad he noticed the fire next to his house, before it got any worse.
"If it caught the trees, then we have a neighborhood problem," said Stevenson.
If you have any information about what caused the fire in Luther, call or text the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office at 405-259-6276. The Sheriff's Office says all information will be kept confidential.
Posted: Tuesday, August 7 2012, 09:49 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Okla. highways reopened after Moore tornado
May 21, 2013 04:22 GMT
MOORE, Okla. (AP) -- Oklahoma highway officials say Interstate 35 in Moore has reopened in both directions.
But the Transportation Department said late Monday that travel in the Moore area was still discouraged.
The agency said first responders, utility crews and others performing official duties are working in the area and need clear lanes of travel.
The department says no other highways are closed due to the storms.
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