Oklahoma man arrested for allegedly setting fire to elementary school cafeteria

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SEMINOLE, Okla. – Authorities say an Oklahoma man has been taken into custody following a fire at an Oklahoma elementary school.

On April 15, a man was caught on camera pouring gasoline inside the cafeteria at a Strother Elementary School. At one point, a fire broke out at the man’s feet.

Classes were canceled while officials investigated.

According to Superintendent Kolby Johnson, because of the incident, they are unable to hold classes or use the cafeteria for the remainder of the school year.

“We will not have to make up the day we missed up (April 15, 2019). Our awesome facility has worked tirelessly today to make modifications to relocate those students whose classrooms were affected. The elementary classes will be combined due to space and the teachers will be team teachers. Breakfast and lunch will be served in the gym and gym lobby as packaged meals and there will be no third meals served. Drop off and pick up for ALL students will be in the high school gymnasium. All high school students will need to park in the back of the school. First grade students will be relocated to Mrs. Childers classroom in the newer elementary school. Second grade through fifth grade will be relocated to the Middle School building. 

We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers during this difficult time, but we still anticipate a great end of year. We all remain Strother Strong!” 

Officials say Phillip Dunson was arrested around 1:30 a.m. on April 18 in Holdenville.

Dunson is suspected of starting the fire and is being held on a complaint of second-degree arson in the Seminole County Jail.

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