Man accused of setting fires in Southside ISD elementary school

Kody Mengden, 30, arrested on suspicion of arson

Kody Mengden is accused of setting multiple fires at William Pearce Elementary School. (Bexar County Jail, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Fire Marshal’s Office investigators arrested a man who is accused of setting multiple fires inside a Southside ISD elementary school.

Kody Mengden, 30, was taken into custody Thursday by Schertz police officers after the fire investigators obtained an arrest warrant for him. He is charged with arson of a place of assembly, a first-degree felony.

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On April 17, firefighters were called to William Pearce Elementary school. The flames damaged two classrooms that were isolated from the main building. No students or staff were on-site at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

During the investigation, fire marshals noted that there were signs of a forced entry.

“Items located at the scene indicated that the suspect had set multiple fires at the time of the arson,” according to a news release from the fire marshal’s office.

Investigators also obtained surveillance footage that led them to Mengden.

Bexar County court records show Mengden has a criminal history dating back to 2007. Most of the crimes involved drug possession and theft of a vehicle.

If convicted, Mengden can be sentenced to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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