Accused Arsonist Damages Tulsa Business In Dumpster Fire Explosion

Thursday, April 22nd 2021, 5:19 pm
By: Emory Bryan

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Investigators said an explosion in a Tulsa neighborhood Thursday morning wasn’t an accident. They said it was arson and it isn’t the first time it’s happened there.

Officials said an explosion that woke up people in a Tulsa neighborhood was caused by an arsonist pouring gasoline in dumpsters and setting them on fire. He has not been identified by authorities.

The first fire was started in a dumpster behind Walter’s Way Furniture Outlet at I-244 and Sheridan. They were alerted to a break-in by their security company and arrived to find their front door smashed in and their dumpster burned.

Video from security cameras show the arsonist pouring fuel into the dumpster before setting the fire, which erupts into a large fireball. Minutes later, the dumpster next door explodes with fire, and trash rains down on the parking lot. Before the fire, a man is seen on video trying to break into a storage container. He broke into the back of a neighboring business, and the front door of the Outlet store.

The owner said there was scattered damage inside.

“The vandalism is something that's costly to us,” said owner Joy Block. “There's nothing stolen that was of value, but just the glass was $375, and we have to get new dumpsters and have the camera systems replaced."

The sound of the dumpster exploding alerted the neighbors, who called the Fire Department.

Block said it’s the third time this year that someone set a fire behind their building.

"It's happened before. It's a routine thing in this area,” she said.