Tulsa Fire Department investigators rule overnight law office blaze an act of arson

TULSA - A Cherry Street law office fire early Monday morning has been ruled an act of arson.

Firefighters responded to the building near 15th and Birmingham after the fire alarm sounded around 5:45 a.m. No one was in the building at the time and no injuries were reported.

Investigators say an arson dog smelled several hydrocarbon accelerants. Samples were taken and sent to a lab, officials say.

A cinder block was also found in one of the rooms, which investigators believe was thrown through a window. 

Officials say the building was being prepared for a new tenant to move in this week, though two people have offices in the building.

Linda Van Valkenburg-Bishop, a licensed professional counselor, says she shares the building with an attorney who mediates high-conflict divorce cases.

Valkenburg-Bishop also thinks the fire was set intentionally, and done by someone familiar with the building and its operations.

"I don't think it's random at all," she said. "I think it's very, very planned. I would really imagine that it's a client of myself or Jerry."

Tulsa fire chief Stan May says the front office took on severe damage, while the back of the building, where Van Valkenburg-Bishop worked, received heavy smoke damage. But, May says, the building should be salvageable.

Van-Valkenburg-Bishop will reopen her practice on Tuesday in a neighboring building. She is urging all of her clients to email her for more information.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Arson Hotline at 918-596-2276.

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