Man Arrested After Fire Destroys Pittsburg Co. Church - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Man Arrested After Fire Destroys Pittsburg Co. Church

Posted:
  • Texoma HeadlinesMore>>

  • School Board In Sadler Approves Allowing Teachers To Carry Guns

    School Board In Sadler Approves Allowing Teachers To Carry Guns

    SADLER, TX -- The S&S school district approved letting teachers carry guns in a unanimous 7-0 vote.More >>
    SADLER, TX -- The S&S school district approved letting teachers carry guns in a unanimous 7-0 vote.More >>
  • Woman Behind Bars After Shooting Boyfriend With Rifle

    Woman Behind Bars After Shooting Boyfriend With Rifle

    CARTER COUNTY, OK -- A Carter County woman is behind bars tonight after deputies say she shot her boyfriend in the chest with a rifle. The sheriff's office says 43 year old Heide Gum shot 45-yr old Darrell Petty after they had an argument over a motorcycle ride. It happened in the 3600 block of Hedges Road.Sheriff Milton Anthony says the two met just a few days ago through a dating website. Gum faces a charge of shooting with intent to kill. Her bond is set at $75,000.Deputies say Petty is e...More >>
    CARTER COUNTY, OK -- A Carter County woman is behind bars tonight after deputies say she shot her boyfriend in the chest with a rifle. The sheriff's office says 43 year old Heide Gum shot 45-yr old Darrell Petty after they had an argument over a motorcycle ride. It happened in the 3600 block of Hedges Road.Sheriff Milton Anthony says the two met just a few days ago through a dating website. Gum faces a charge of shooting with intent to kill. Her bond is set at $75,000.Deputies say Petty is e...More >>
  • Fox Third and Fourth Graders Claim National Championship

    Fox Third and Fourth Graders Claim National Championship

    FOX, OKLAHOMA -- When you hear national championship, you usually think it's associated with a sport. But for a group of students in Carter County, this national title has a different common denominator. Most elementary-aged kids might tell you their favorite subject in school is something not associated with being in a classroom. "I think it's the love of competition," said Jennifer Ruth, a third grade teacher a Fox Public Schools. "They love the math, they love learning and they wanted...More >>
    FOX, OKLAHOMA -- When you hear national championship, you usually think it's associated with a sport. But for a group of students in Carter County, this national title has a different common denominator. Most elementary-aged kids might tell you their favorite subject in school is something not associated with being in a classroom. "I think it's the love of competition," said Jennifer Ruth, a third grade teacher a Fox Public Schools. "They love the math, they love learning and they wanted...More >>

PITTSBURG COUNTY, OK -- A man faces a charge of arson after a fire destroyed a church near Kiowa last night, and the sheriff says there are indications a meth lab in a pickup truck parked out front exploded.

Firefighters believe the fire spread from the truck, even as two people were inside the church.

Pastor Linda Snider says she and her husband were in the back of the church, putting together some food donations for a family, when a loud sound startled them.

"We heard something that sounded like a gunshot, actually a couple of them," says Snider.

Kiowa firefighters arrived around 9 p.m. on Monday to a call of a fire in a pickup truck next to a church. They found the Praise Fellowship church on Highway 69 just south of Kiowa burning, and the roof collapsing.

"I've fought big fires before, but this is my first church and I hope I don't ever have to go on another one," says Kiowa Fire Chief Patrick Johnston.

"There was a gentleman walking down the driveway of the church -- it sits a couple hundred yards off the highway -- and they detained this gentleman because he was acting a little odd, wasn't near as excited as the officers were about the fire, didn't seem to be too concerned," says Kiowa Police Chief Tony Runyon.

On Tuesday afternoon, Barry Mitchell, 46, was arraigned on one count of first degree arson. His bond was set at $100,000 and the judge In McAlester told him that due to his prior record that he could get four years to life if convicted.

Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns says he believes a meth lab may have exploded in the pickup truck, and the state fire marshal is investigating.

Even during the afternoon, hot spots continued to burn through the remainder of the church. Johnston says that the vehicle has been moved but it was originally parked right under the awning, and they believe the fire spread from there. 

"It was a nice building and everything, it's gone now," says resident Gaile Shannon.

Snider says they do not know Mitchell, but have since heard he used to live in Kiowa. "We'd had a crew of roofers in there all day and he'd been there and they didn't realize they didn't really know who he was, and when we were in there, we didn't. We found out who he was," says Snider. "We're just going to start over and get a direction and figure out what we need to do."

Mitchell is being held in the Pittsburg County Jail while awaiting trial. Right now, Snider says they are not planning to hold church service on Sunday. The church is about 20 years old and stood two stories tall.