Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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Middle school fire in Killeen ruled arson

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TWC News: Middle school fire in Killeen ruled arson
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The fire that destroyed part of an alternative school campus in Killeen this weekend has been ruled an arson.

Now, investigators are looking for a person of interest--a man they say was seen climbing over a fence behind Gateway Middle School Saturday when the fire started.

The Killeen Independent School District’s Gateway campus is for students with behavioral consequences, but after Saturday's fire, the middle school building is charred rubble.

"There are cameras there. I am not sure what they were able to glean from the cameras because once the fire started, the cameras became inoperable," Leslie Gilmore with KISD said.

No staff or students were present during the fire. Investigators combed the wreckage for clues on Monday, but despite the destruction, classes went on as scheduled.

"We've done an amazing job, everybody across the board, in making sure that everything is set up for kids to go to school today," Gilmore said.

The district just happened to have a small, unused group of buildings that once housed career programs. Sunday, the day after the fire, school workers rushed to make the new location ready.

"In about 10 hours, we created a campus over there," Gilmore said. "Then the teachers that were able to get into their classrooms at the Gateway facility were able to get some things out of there.”

The man authorities are looking for is described as being in his late 20s or early 30s, about six-feet tall and more than 200 pounds.

He was last seen wearing a yellow shirt and dark pants.

If you know anything about the fire, you're urged to call Crime Stoppers at (254) 526-TIPS or go to KilleenCrimeStoppers.com.

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