North Dakota Principal Arrested For Setting Fire To High School

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The principal of a North Dakota high school was arrested Tuesday in connection with a fire that shut the school down for the rest of the year.

Thomas J. Sander, 30, the principal at Dickinson Trinity High School in Dickinson, is facing charges of arson and endangerment.

A fire was reported at the Catholic school at 1:15 a.m. on Monday. Dickinson Fire Chief Robert Sivak said the blaze was under control shortly after 3 a.m.

Robert Storey, a religion teacher at the school who has an apartment on the second floor, said he awoke to fire alarms Monday.

“I went over to the principal of the high school’s house, which is across the street,” Storey said Monday. “If I hadn’t woken up, the whole building would have gone up.”

“Trinity High School will not be open the rest of the school year,” said Dickinson Catholic schools president Steve Glass in a text message Tuesday.

Trinity is collaborating with Dickinson State University and Dickinson Public Schools to find facilities for their students for the rest of the school year.

Sander was hired by the school last July. If convicted of the Class B felony charges he could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000.