Fire Marshal's Office investigates August arson, arrest made

Sep. 20—The Norman Fire Marshal's Office investigated an arson in August, which led to the arrest of one person. There have been 10 arson investigations this year, with five arrests.

The fire being investigated occurred on the evening of Aug. 22. at the free food pantry behind the Yellow Dog Coffee Co. No arrests had been made at the time, but there was a person of interest.

On Sept. 14, the Norman Police Department apprehended William Pete Blanket III on an unrelated incident and recognized him as the person of interest involved in the arson incident.

NPD contacted Fire Marshal Matthew Elliott, who interviewed Blanket. The release said he initially denied the charges but "later admitted to being the person seen starting the fire in photos and video captured by security cameras at the business," the release said.

The release accused Blanket of starting the fire, significantly damaging the free food pantry and breaking a window in an adjacent building.

Blanket was charged with second-degree arson on Tuesday. He was booked into the Cleveland County Jail for unrelated charges, including possession of drug paraphernalia, trespassing and failure to appear.

Criminal charges related to the arson were the only charges against William for his recent arrest.