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State Fire Marshal's Office: Convicted arsonist arrested for apartment fire

Convicted arsonist arrested for Rayne apartment fire
Posted at 1:22 PM, Jul 10, 2019

A Rayne woman has been arrested for allegedly setting fire to her apartment building which was occupied by additional tenants.

Antoinette Leopaul, 58, was booked into the Acadia Parish Jail on July 9 for one count of aggravated arson.

In the early morning hours of the 9th, the Rayne Fire Department contacted the State Fire Marshal's Office to assist in determining the origin and cause of a duplex fire located in the 600 block of Lee Crossing Road, according to Ashley Rodrigue, Public Affairs Director, State Fire Marshal's Office

Deputies learned there were two fire calls to the duplex in this case. The first occurred in the latter hours of July 8th and was extinguished with a fire extinguisher; the second occurred around 2 a.m. on the 9th, Rodrigue stated. Both units of the duplex were occupied at the times of the fires.

Following an assessment of the scene, the fire was deemed to be intentionally set at a door to one unit, where Leopaul was the tenant.

Leopaul was identified as a suspect following evidence showing her as the only occupant of her unit at the time of the fire and having been in the area of the fire just prior to flames being observed.

She was then placed under arrest.

Rodrigue stated Leopaul previously served state prison time for a simple arson conviction in 2006 that also occurred in Acadia Parish.