St. Landry

Nov 8, 2012 10:48 PM by Chris Welty

Investigators Suspect Fire is Politically Motivated

A Leonville business burns to the ground; police say it could be arson and politically motivated.

That fire happened early Wednesday morning. The flames broke out just hours after election results came in adding fuel to the fire that it was politically motivated.

"It was completely down by the time I got here, but there was still some flames and the coal and stuff."

For Kenneth Pitre, eight-months of work on his snowball stand went up in flames, reduced to rubble. Pitre suspects the fire was intentionally set and also politically motivated. Throughout the election season, he was visibly vocal about his dislike for President Obama, putting signs around his business. He wouldn't be surprised, if it sparked backlash.

"I knew the odds were kind of high, but I knew they existed."

Pitre had one of his political signs on the tree, but it was taken off and tossed onto the fire. Since then, he has put up a sign that says if you steal or vandalize, he'll have you arrested.

"The building being built of solid wood and no electricity to the building, I suspect somebody started the fire."

Leonville Fire Chief Bobby Degueyter says he suspects arson because there were no flammable materials inside.
So far, no suspect in this fire, Pitre wants justice because he says he was only exercising his freedom of speech.

"We have to fight for what we want. Freedom doesn't come free and I believe everyone should participate in the political system."

Pitre is offering a $500 reward for the conviction of the person or persons involved.

Chris Welty



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