Norman, OK – Arson fire apartment complex is put out by sprinkler system

Officers say James Cox, 23, has admitted that last Thursday he broke several windows at a shopping center located off Alameda St., as well as others on the west side of town. Police say these damages surpass $4,000.  One Supercuts employee says Cox was spotted on security footage around 4:00 AM tipping trash cans into store windows. Police say 6 to 8 were damaged in total.

“When I walked in and locked our door, I noticed there was glass all over our floor,” says the Supercuts employee. “At that time I called police and walked up and down the sidewalk, and saw that Ace (Hardware) had been hit, we had been hit and Sally’s (Beauty Supply) had been hit.

But hours later, around 9:30, surveillance footage caught a different crime scene. This time at the Brookview Apartments.  Someone called 911 after a fire started in one of the units.  The sprinkler system extinguished the fire before it spread.
•Dispatch: Hello
•Caller: The water is coming down? Okay. The fire is out now. We had to turn off the sprinkler system. I don’t know, someone burned the apartment down. Someone, I am not sure.

Firefighters says they later found a pile of laundry on a bed, dowsed in lighter fluid.

That apartment belonged to Cox mother according to investigators.

“They were in route to the scene when the police department called them and said that they had a person of interest that they needed to come talk to,” says Deputy Chief Mike Wilson of the Norman Fire Department.

Cox had been tracked down by officers who were using images captured hours earlier by the cameras at the Alameda shopping center.

“When our investigators showed up, he confessed to the investigators that he was the one who started the fire. Wanted to make sure no one was injured in the fire he started,” says Deputy Chief Wilson.

Cox will be in court next Tuesday.

He faces one count of First-Degree Arson and Four Counts of Malicious Injury to Property Over $1,000.

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