Cameras Capture Attempted Arson At Tulsa Apartments

Friday, April 17th 2015, 11:21 pm
By: News On 6

Surveillance video captured an arsonist attempting to light an apartment on fire near Apache and North Peoria.

Investigators said it wasn't a random act, and firefighters believe the arsonist knew exactly which apartment he was looking for at the Town Square apartment complex.

The man set the front door and window on fire, and, based on the video it looks like he had every intention of killing the person inside, who firefighters believe he more than likely knew.

Surveillance video shows flames exploding on the side of the Town Square apartment building, and a man quickly running away, putting everyone inside the building at risk.

Captain Stan May with the Tulsa Fire Department said, "Possibly eight families out of a place to live and all of their belongings."

Fortunately that wasn't the case.

While the flames are very large at first, they died down within a few minutes; May said he knows that wasn't the arsonist's intention.

“The people in those apartments got pretty lucky he didn't do a better job,” May said.

Video shows the arsonist walk up to the building on the right - May said he was armed with gasoline.

The arsonist walked inside a hallway and started the first fire by an apartment's front door. The fire was so bright it lit up another apartment building.

Then the man ran out of the hallway and over to the apartment's window; flames shot up on the side of the building and he ran away and left the apartment to burn.

"Once it gets up the side and into the attic, it would have spread across the whole building," May explained.

There's a reason May said that didn't happen.

"He threw that gasoline up there, a lot of it ran down there on the grass and once it got on the bricks there, wasn't enough time to get the siding to ignite," he said.

In fact the woman who was inside opened the door put the fire there out before calling 911.

Firefighters hope someone at the apartments saw the man and can help identify him.

When caught, the man faces felony charges of attempted first-degree arson.

If you know anything about the fire or recognize the person in the video, call the arson tip line at 918-596-2776.