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Arnaudville man accused of setting his home on fire

Posted: 3:34 PM, Jun 14, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-14 16:34:44-04

The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal has arrested an Arnaudville man after he set the home he was living in on fire.

James Penland, 28, was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail with one count of Simple Arson, a spokeswoman said.

OSFM deputies were called by the Arnaudville Fire Department on Wednesday to assist in determining the origin and cause of a house fire in the 200 block Alex Richard Road in Arnaudville.

Investigators learned Penland, who lived in the home, made a comment earlier in the day to his mother, who owned the home, that he was going to burn the house down, the spokeswoman said. 

Around 7 p.m., a neighbor saw the house on fire with Penland sitting on top of a bird cage in the back yard. The neighbor told investigators when she confronted Penland about the fire, he admitted to setting it.

Investigators identified the area of origin as the corner of a bedroom and determined the fire was intentionally set.

In an interview with investigators, Penland allegedly confessed to starting the fire and then retreating to the bird cage to watch as it burned.

Penland was then placed under arrest, the spokeswoman said.