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Man arrested for arson after SW Oklahoma City apartment catches fire

OKLAHOMA CITY – One person was arrested for arson after a burning pile of clothes caused a fire inside his apartment.

It happened just after 2 a.m. Tuesday at the Will Rogers Court housing authority community near S.W. 15th and Pettee Avenue.

Koteia Murray told News 4 she woke up to the smell of smoke.

"I see my neighbor when I opened up the door and I said, dude, I said, what are you burning over there, and he just broke out and ran. Then I looked out the door and I saw a cloud of smoke and I called 911,” Murray said.

When she called 911, Murray told firefighters on the phone, “Smoke’s coming up out of his house. He's been on that d*** crystal meth. I'm looking at it now, please.”

“Is there a lot of smoke coming out?” the firefighter asked Murray.

She replied, “Yes sir.”

When crews arrived on scene, they found a pile of burning clothes inside Murray’s neighbor’s apartment.

"He's new. He's been there less than two weeks. He was a good guy to me. So, I don't know what happened. It was 2 o'clock in the morning and it woke me up and it was scary,” Murray said.

Murray’s neighbor was later identified as 25-year-old Taeler McDaniel. The burning pile of clothes was found inside his closet.

After walking away from the scene, firefighters said McDaniel called 911 himself to report the blaze. He was later located by police officers near West Reno and North Villa Avenues and brought back to the scene where Murray positively identified him for authorities.

"The smell was so strong,” Murray said. “I'm in the middle of the apartments from where he lives.”

She’s thankful those flames didn’t spread to other apartments, especially since her smoke alarms never sounded.

"I'm very blessed. I'm very blessed to be alive,” Murray said.

McDaniel was booked into the Oklahoma County Jail on one count of arson in the first degree.

No one was hurt in the fire.

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