Homeless man arrested for arson at building in downtown Ardmore

Sierra Rains
Daniel Sayen

A homeless man was arrested and charged with second-degree arson after allegedly setting a fire outside of a building in downtown Ardmore.  

Ardmore firefighters were dispatched to the building in the 900 block of West Broadway Street on Monday morning after receiving reports of a fire at the doorway of the structure, said Ardmore Fire Marshall Tim Lee. 

“It was fairly large, they had kind of a little homeless encampment there where they took some cardboard boxes and made a little house out of it,” Lee said. “All of the cardboard boxes were burning.”

Pieces of clothing were also reportedly on fire in front the building, which Lee said was unoccupied at the time. Firefighters extinguished the fire before any serious damage could be done to the building. Lee said some brick on the building was discolored from the fire, but no other damage was reported. 

After putting the fire out, the fire department began an investigation with the help of the Ardmore Police Department. They were able to obtain a description of the suspect through interviews with witnesses and video camera footage, and officers located the suspect a short time later. 

The suspect, 37-year-old Daniel Keith Sayen, was taken into custody and booked into the Carter County jail for second-degree arson. Sayen is listed as homeless in Carter County court documents. 

“We appreciate the help from the Ardmore Police Department and working with us to be able to solve this arson,” Lee said. Investigators believe Sayen started the fire in response to an argument. “He was angry at some other people, that’s the best way to put it,” Lee said. 

Sayen is currently being held at the Carter County jail with a bond of $10,000. A preliminary conference is scheduled for Feb. 25. If found guilty, Sayen could face a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment for up to 35 years, or both imprisonment and a fine.