VES Rescue in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. – A Tulsa man is behind bars after police say he purposely set his girlfriend’s house on fire while her children were asleep inside.

Steven Clement, 35, was arrested on complaints of first degree arson, child abuse and child neglect.

When firefighters arrived at the house in the 2800 block of Pittsburg Avenue early Tuesday morning they found an 11-year-old girl sitting on the front porch of the burning house. They also found two children outside including an autistic teen.

“The problem was we had reports of children in the house,” Fire Captain Stan May said.

While flames engulfed the house, a five-year-old boy was trapped inside a bedroom.

“We actually had to pull out from one area of the house and make an entry through one of the bedroom windows to find the child,” May said.

Firefighters rescued the child, and he was transported to a Tulsa hospital in critical condition.

Shortly after all four children were safe, investigators began questioning Clement.

Police say he is the boyfriend of the children’s mother.

Neighbor Carly Jennemann said she saw Clement move in with the mother and children a couple of months ago.

“We knew he wasn’t very nice,” she said. “He was always yelling at the kids.”

Captain May wouldn’t say how investigators determined the fire was arson, but according to Clement’s arrest report, he called and texted his girlfriend numerous times while she was driving home from Kansas.

At 12:28 a.m., she received a text that read “house on fire.”

A minute later another text came in reading “got insurance?”

Clement remained in the Tulsa County Jail on Tuesday evening. His bond is set at $170,000, according to jail records.

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