Okmulgee High School suffers damages after former student allegedly set fire to building

OKMULGEE, Okla. - Okmulgee High School is still standing despite a former student's alleged attempt to burn it to the ground.

Police say a former student broke into the high school around 11 p.m. Monday and started a fire.

Okmulgee Police Chief Joe Prentice said it wasn't the flames that did most of the damage but the sprinklers that doused them and everything else.

School officials say the sprinklers rained down water on all three floors of the building.

The second floor did suffer damages, but as Prentice knows, it could have been much worse.

"It could've been really, really bad," he said. "Particularly if the sprinklers hadn't activated, the fire could've really gotten out of control before we found it."

Police say the 17-year-old former student confessed to setting the fire. Officers turned him over to the Office of Juvenile Affairs.

"He's going to be in trouble for doing that stuff. Kids today, they seem to not have any concept of their consequences," said Michelle Jones, whose daughter goes to the school.

School officials don't yet have an estimate of the damages.

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