Medina High School graduate charged with arson in connection with Medina Performing Arts Center fire

MEDINA, Ohio - A 19-year-old man has been charged with aggravated arson after a fire at the Medina Performing Arts Center Tuesday morning.

Davon Phillips, of Medina, was arrested by Sergeant Brett McNabb and Detective Joshua Grusendorf with the assistance of Donald Illig and Brian Peterman, both Deputy State Fire Marshals, police said.

Medina firefighters said the blaze started around 7:20 a.m. The assistant chief said there is water and smoke damage and some stage props were destroyed. Police said damage was limited to the rear stage work room.

The cause is unknown and there is not a damage estimate at this point.

Investigators report the room in the rear stage area was used to build sets for productions at the Performing Arts Center and contained a supply of wooden building materials.

Officers said Phillips is a June graduate of Medina High School and was employed as a custodial worker by the school at the time of the fire.

He is in custody at the Medina County Jail pending a bond hearing before Judge Dale Chase of the Medina Municipal Court.

The Performing Arts Center is connected to Medina High School but no other parts of the building were damaged.

Summer plays are going on but authorities said they are not sure how those will be affected.

The Medina County Arson Task Force also assisted in the investigation.

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