Accused arsonist arrested in suspicious DeKalb school fire

DeKalb County police are looking for a person of interest after a fire at St. Martin's Episcopal School. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

DeKalb County police are looking for a person of interest after a fire at St. Martin's Episcopal School. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

A suspected arsonist was arrested Wednesday evening in a suspicious fire at a school, Dekalb officials said.

Michael Hornbuckle faces a first degree arson charge after someone noticed a man fitting a description of Hornbuckle in the Buckhead area, DeKalb County Fire Rescue officials said. Hornbuckle was detained by Atlanta police and taken to the DeKalb County Fire Rescue headquarters.

Hornbuckle is accused of breaking into the St. Martin's Episcopal School and setting it on fire about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. The private school is on the campus of St. Martin in the Fields Episcopal Church in Brookhaven.

Surveillance video captured Hornbuckle breaking into the church just before the fire, DeKalb fire battalion chief DeJuan Gilchrist said.

Officials released that footage in the hopes someone can help them identify the person of interest, DeKalb fire Capt. Eric Jackson said.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined the investigation as a matter of protocol because the blaze started on a church campus, Jackson said.

Summer school classes are in session, but students were out for the Fourth of July.

The fire damaged about 1,000 square feet near the school’s entrance and injured a few animals, Gilchrist said.

Crews fought a blaze that damaged St. Martin's Episcopal School. JOHN SPINK / JSPINK@AJC.COM

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Georgia Arson Control offered a $10,000 reward for information about a person of interest in the case.

No other details were released.