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PD: Man uses makeshift 'blowtorch' to set fire to Scottsdale school cafeteria

knxv Ronald Lopez.jpg
Posted at 11:21 AM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 16:58:05-05

SCOTTSDALE, AZ — A man responsible for setting fire to a school cafeteria and gymnasium in Scottsdale has been arrested, according to police.

Scottsdale police report that on Christmas afternoon they responded to Mohave Middle School near Jackrabbit and Granite Reef roads because a fire alarm was going off.

Once at the school, police found 24-year-old Ronald Lopez leaving the gymnasium.

Lopez told police that he was "investigating" the fire alarm.

Inside the cafeteria, investigators reportedly found a large projection screen burned, a can of aerosol spray, and a lighter.

Police believe Lopez used the can and the lighter to create a "makeshift blow torch."

Officers also allegedly found powder from a fire extinguisher throughout the building.

Surveillance video reviewed by police reportedly shows Lopez jumping the fence and walking around the cafeteria discharging the extinguisher.

The damage is estimated to be around $2,000.

Lopez has been charged with arson.