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Arrest made in Baldwin Police Station fire

Posted at 1:59 PM, Sep 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-07 15:05:34-04

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office has arrested a Franklin man for a fire he allegedly started at the Baldwin Police Station back in February.

Officials say that 29-year-old Ray Robertson turned himself in to the St. Mary Parish Jail on Wednesday, September 5, following a warrant being issued for his arrest on one count of aggravated arson.

Ray Robertson courtesy of Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office

On February 12, 2018, the fire marshal’s office was contacted to investigate the origin and cause of a fire at the Baldwin Police Department headquarters on Highway 812.

Investigators say they learned through witness statements and surveillance video from the police station that shortly after Robertson was placed in a temporary holding cell, he allegedly removed a lighter and several combustible items from his pockets.  Robertson was allegedly seen lighting the items on fire, tossing them into a corner of the cell, and then throwing the lighter into the flames.

The building’s smoke alarm system alerted a police officer and the police chief who entered the cell to remove Robertson and put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.  The police officer was treated briefly for his injuries and was released the same day.

Robertson was taken to the hospital with burns across 30 to 40 percent of his body.  He remained hospitalized until April when he was released.  Following the completion of long-term medical treatment, investigators obtained a warrant for Robertson’s arrest on September 5, 2018.

He has been booked into the St. Mary Parish Jail.