Johnston Co. man arrested for allegedly refusing to leave burning building

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WAPANUCKA, OK -- The Johnston County Sheriff's Office says a Wapanucka man was arrested last night after refusing to leave a burning building.

Wapanucka firefighters say around 10:30 Saturday night, a fire ignited at a mechanic shop, just east of the highway 48 and highway 7 intersection. When crews arrived, Johnston county Sheriff, Jon Smith, says someone was still inside.

Smith says, "There was a person in the building that was refusing to allow the fire department to go about their duties."

"I noticed that the back of his shop was up in flames. There was smoke all over the place. They had the front door open trying to get some of the smoke out," says Sarah Allen.
She says her father, Duane Allen, who rents the shop, was the one inside the building.

Allen says, "They were trying to get him out because of all the smoke and he was resisting to get out because he was saying 'the fires out the fire out' and they kept saying 'get out' and he wouldn't get out."

Smith says, "Deputies approached the gentleman and actually went inside the building...still refused to leave...and they finally got him out and he continued to try to go back into the building."

Smith says Allen was arrested for interfering with fire personel, and upon searching the 51-year-old, Smith says Deputies found Meth and drug paraphernalia.

Smith says, "He became resistive and combative and ultimately they got him restrained and following a search discovered a little over a gram of Crystal Meth and some glass smoking pipes on this person."

Smith says they also found drug paraphernalia inside the shop after obtaining a search warrant.

The Wapanucka fire department says the fire started in the back of the building where there's a pile of tires.

Allen says, "It's his old tires that have been, like, people run over nails and stuff just old, un-usable tires."

Investigators are unsure at this time what started the blaze.

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