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Couple arrested for setting 2017 house fire to collect insurance money

The fire investigation began in August 2017
Joseph Clark Jr.
Posted at 7:22 AM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-16 08:38:02-04

A Jennings couple has been arrested by the Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office in connection with a 2017 house fire on Shirley Drive.

Deputies say the couple, who are now divorced, devised a plan to set the home on fire and file a claim for the fire loss.

54-year-old Joseph Clark, Jr. and 53-year-old Stacey Bernard Clark were arrested and booked into the Jeff Davis Parish Jail this week. Joseph Clark is facing a charge of Arson With Intent to Defraud. Stacey Clark was booked on a charge of Insurance Fraud.

An investigation into the fire began in August 2017 when the Jennings Fire Department requested the SFM's assistance in determining a cause of the fire.

After assessing the scene, investigators determined that the fire began in a bedroom, but that there were suspicious circumstances surrounding how the fire started.

A two year investigation into the fire led to evidence and witness statements allegedly identifying Joseph and Stacey Clark as suspects.

Deputies say that during a interview with SFM investigators Stacey Clark allegedly admitted that before the fire her then-husband told her of plans to burn down the house. Clark also allegedly admitted that despite knowing of the plan, she filed an insurance claim for loss from the fire.

Warrants for Joseph and Stacey Clark were obtained and the two were arrested.

The investigation is ongoing and could result in other charges.