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Possible Serial Arsonist Caught

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(Dyersburg, TN) – An alleged serial arsonist is nabbed in Dyersburg. Police say Dillon McKinney, 18, torched his own high school and possibly burned several homes.

Caution tape blows on the sidewalk outside Dyersburg High School where the storage room was set on fire nearly a week ago. Police say while the school was closed McKinney broke in and burned it.

He wasn't charged with arson, however, until he was arrested three days later on a domestic violence complaint called in by his ex- girlfriend.

According to the police affidavit, "he strangled her causing red marks and a scratch on her neck."

While police questioned him on that complaint, police say he admitted setting his school on fire. They say they also have video of him doing it.

Police believe he may be to blame for other fires in the area. Since November, 10 vacant houses in Dyer County have been burned down.

“I was scared to death,” Donna Ozment said. “I didn't sleep for 3 or 4 nights. We didn't know what was going on.”

Ozment lives across the street from one of the burned out homes, she said the town has been on edge for months.

"This house was set on fire and it caught on fire 3 or 4 nights later,” she said.

Many of the arsons happened in the Pioneer subdivision in Dyersburg, about a mile from the high school.

“My father in law lives out there and he's 92. I was more concerned about that if something happened and he couldn't get out,” Becky Boatright said.

Monday night they learned their worries may be over.

“I'm glad that he's caught,” Boatright said.

McKinney is charged with arson, burglary, and aggravated assault. He's in the Dyer County jail without bond.