SPRING, Texas – A teen has been charged with arson after intentionally setting Frank Elementary School on fire on May 8, officials said.
The fire at Frank Elementary School started on the roof of the building and damaged the cafeteria, which caused the school for a couple days as crews worked to clean up the mess.
The fire was reported around 11:30 p.m. at the school on Crescent Clover Drive.
According to court documents, Michael John Wood, 17, climbed onto the roof of the building and started the fire with a newspaper and match.
Wood told authorities that he likes to start fires because it makes him feel in control and he thought the fire was out when he left the roof of the school.
Officials said after investigating the burn patterns that they believe the fire was not out prior to Wood leaving the rood and the fire continued to burn through the roof as time went on.
"Michael is innocent. Didn't start any arson fire at the elementary school," said Michael Trent, Wood's attorney.
Trent told KPRC2 his client visited the schools' roof, with friends, at times, but not to set fires. Rather, he says, the group would go there to talk and get away for a period of time.
Trent also questions how newspaper, lit by a lighter, without accelerant, could cause as much damage as the fire did.
"I have spoken to the arson investigator in this case. There is no sign of any accelerant, there's no traces of hydrocarbons or kerosene or gasoline or anything that would account for the rapidity of this fire and how quickly it spread," Trent said.
Wood posted a $2,000 bond and he is set to appear in court on June 6.
Klein Independent School District released the following statement:
"The Fire Marshal’s office filed Reckless-Arson charges on a Klein ISD secondary student for the Frank Elementary School fire. Due to the sensitive nature of the situation, Klein ISD is not releasing a name. Please call the HCFM office if you have questions about this case."