Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Principal arrested after North Dakota school set on fire

Author:

A North Dakota principal accused of setting fire to his high school early Monday morning has been arrested, leaving school officials to scramble to find a place to hold classes the rest of the year.

Principal Thomas Sander, 30, of Trinity High School in Dickinson is being charged with arson and endangerment by fire after allegedly setting fire to a file cabinet in the office vault at the school, according to The Dickinson Press.

Sander was held on a $500,000 cash bond after a hearing Wednesday, the newspaper reports. If convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine of $20,000 or both.

Investigators have not released details about motive in the case.

No injuries were reported. The fire remains under investigation.

The fire caused major structural and smoke damage to the building, according to media reports. The front office of the school, which opened in 1961, suffered the most fire damage, according to The Bismarck Tribune.

Rev. Patrick Schumacher, the vice president of Dickinson Catholic Schools, told the Dickinson Press there also was “extensive damage” to the main floor. Most materials, such as textbooks, are unusable, the newspaper says.

Classes at the school were canceled for the week, according to the school's website. Dickinson Catholic Schools President Steve Glasser said Trinity plans to resume classes next Monday at Dickinson Public Schools and Dickinson State University facilities, the Dickinson Press reports. TMI, a laminate manufacturer in Dickinson, has offered space for administration offices, the Bismark Tribune says.

“The Dickinson Public Schools, their administration has been incredible to work with the last two days. Dickinson State has been wonderful,” Glasser told the Dickinson Press. “We are so humbled by the outpouring of support. Dickinson Public Schools has just been off the charts with their generosity. We’re so appreciative of that.”

Plans for the future of the school will be outlined following an Ash Wednesday Mass, according to the school. Sander, a Missouri native hired in July 2013, came to Dickinson after working as an administrative intern at St. Albert's High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

He had also worked in marketing at NBC Universal in New York City before pursuing a career in education, according to the Dickinson Press.

The school has set up a Trinity United Fire Relief fund asking for monetary donations.

Next Up

Meeker County Sheriff's Office

Boy, 6, run over after falling off trailer in Meeker Co. tree farm accident

He was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center with internal injuries.

Target store

Target unveils deals for 2-day 'Cyber Monday' event

The promotion kicks off Sunday, November 28.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.59.30 AM

Edina police warn of recent burglary trend targeting garages and vehicles

The Edina Police Department is increasing patrols in affected neighborhoods in response to the trend.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.03.06 AM

Charges: Man shot Uber Eats driver making a delivery in Cottage Grove

Otis Donnell Shipp was charged with second-degree attempted murder after turning himself in on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.36.14 AM

Waterfront hotel in Duluth sustains damage in kitchen fire

Authorities estimate the damage at around $75,000.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.15.18 AM

Large groups of thieves target 2 Twin Cities Best Buys on Black Friday

It bears similarities to the flash-mob style thefts seen recently in California.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

Related