Christian Education

Teenager arrested for arson after Christian academy fire


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An 18-year-old was arrested early Monday after Newtown police said he was responsible for several fires at Miami Valley Christian Academy outbuildings.

Thomas Holbert of Newtown was arrested at school and charged with arson.

“It is believed that at that point Holbert acted alone,” Newtown Police Chief Thomas Synan said. “The damage is estimated to be around $ 100,000.”

School Street Academy offers kindergarten to grade 12 education and opened in 1996. School officials could not be reached on Monday.

The school has more than 500 students who come from 30 different districts in the Cincinnati area, according to the Miami Valley website. It held its opening on Saturday afternoon, with the last classes of the school year for older students taking place on Thursday.

Several fire departments responded to the blaze early Monday morning.

Monday afternoon, Newtown Sgt. Jim Vontz said investigators had not established a motive for the fires. He said Holbert had no current or previous affiliation with the school.

The two outbuildings that burned down are “probably a total loss,” Vontz said. The buildings were used as a training space and to store sports equipment, he said.

Court documents were not available online in the case as of Monday. Police said the incident was still under investigation.

Holbert is being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center pending a bail hearing.

Cincinnati.com will update this story.

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