LAWTON, Okla._ A house fire earlier this week has since been ruled arson, and the person responsible for the crime is the 17-year-old son who lives there.
Flames tore through a home near 42nd Street and K Ave. in southwest Lawton on Wednesday shortly before 4 p.m. The inside of the home was gutted but the family did get help from the American Red Cross who provided them housing at an area hotel.
Benjamin Kaulaity, the suspect's father who was renting the home, said the fire came as a "complete shock." Four days after the blaze, he said in a phone interview, he has no idea why his son lit the family home on fire.
Fire crews were on scene for more than two hours and when they left the work began.
"Within 10 minutes it seemed like there was 15 people there with cars, trucks (and) wood," said the father's co-worker, Colin Henderson.
Henderson is the co-owner of T&S Printing, Lawton, where Kaulaity is a shipping manager. He quickly joined a team willing to help salvage everything they could from the home.
The company the family was renting the home from offered up another place down the street at a steep discount.
Henderson says he saw the teenager the day before the fire and is clueless as to why he would do such a thing.
"He's always been a very quite (and) reserved kid," said Henderson. "He did seem like there was something going on."
The suspect is being hospitalized at Southwestern Behavioral Health Center but Kaulaity says his son has never been diagnosed with any mental or behavioral issues.
The family is looking to the public for donations:
You can drop off donations to T&S Printing at 6403 W. Gore Blvd., Lawton.