The State Fire Marshal’s Office arrested a man for allegedly setting a shed on fire in Eunice. Officials say the shed was part of the suspect’s deceased mother’s former property.
On Sunday, January 27, the city’s fire department responded to the fire on Ida Street between N 12th and Tate streets.
According to a spokeswoman with the fire marshal’s office, the home where the fire occurred had recently been sold following the owner’s death.
After assessing the scene, investigators determined the fire was intentionally started.
Witnesses told investigators 64-year-old Lonnie Soileau had been squatting in the home but had been evicted following the sale of the property. Despite the eviction, witnesses reported seeing Soileau on the property in the days leading up to the fire, the spokeswoman says.
With the assistance of the Eunice City Marshal’s Office, Soileau was located in Ville Platte and taken into custody. In an interview with investigators, Soileau allegedly admitted to starting a fire in the shed.
On Wednesday, January 30, the suspect was arrested and booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail on one count each of simple arson and criminal trespass.