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New Iberia house searched last week in connection with woman's death burns

Neighbors tell KATC the fire was so strong, firefighters struggled to control it.
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Posted at 1:58 PM, Jul 06, 2021

The house that New Iberia Police and State Police crime scene technicians searched recently burned last night.

New Iberia Police confirmed that the house that burned on Corinne Street last night was the same house that was searched recently in connection with the investigation into Kitty Rideaux's death.

The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the fire.

KATC spoke with a couple that lives a few dozen feet from the home that caught on fire. They say they couldn't believe what they saw.

“I was standing right here,” said John Thomas, a neighbor. “I said ‘man, that’s a big fire’.”

Thomas says all the sirens on emergency vehicles woke him up. When he went outside to see what was going on a few yards from his home, he says the fire department was still working to control the flames.

“The fire looked like the fire department couldn’t keep it under control,” he said “Whoosh. It's a big ol’ blaze, and everything. And I said, ‘lord have mercy, I hope nobody is in that house or nothing’.”

He and his wife, Brenda Chargois, say there might be a relationship between this fire and the death of Kitty Rideaux, whose body was found near the home.

“We believe that whoever did this to her, should be punished and turned themselves in and come forward. And what happened to the young man’s home, that should have never happened,” said Chargois.

They say the owner of that home and Rideaux lived in that house, and they were a couple for a long time.

“Years. We have been here fourteen years and they have been together what six? Seven? Longer than that, about 10 maybe,” the neighboring couple said.

They say if the fire was intentional, the person that caused it might have wanted the owner of the home to be in the house at the time of the fire.

Some neighbors say there are rumors in the area. They say that whoever lit the house on fire, if that is the case, is still on the loose. Other neighbors say they believe it could have been leftover fireworks from the holiday weekend that caused the fire.

The house was the home of the boyfriend of Kitty Rideaux. Police confirmed that they lived there together at one point. To read more about that, click here.