[StBernard] Fire damages 3 Chalmette apartment buildings

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Mon Jan 7 23:31:16 EST 2008

Fire damages 3 Chalmette apartment buildings
by Staff reports
Sunday January 06, 2008, 10:34 PM

A suspected arson fire heavily damaged three buildings in the closed Village
Square apartment complex in Chalmette Sunday afternoon, the St. Bernard
Parish Fire Department said.

No one was injured.

Chief Thomas Stone said he suspected arson was the cause of the three-alarm
fire, which was under control at 6 p.m.

One of the buildings that burned is at 306 Southern Place, where the fire
started, the fire department said.

Stone said the upper floor of the two-story building was engulfed in flames.
The fire destroyed that building and spread to two other buildings, one on
Plantation Drive and the other on Palm Street. One is a two-story building,
and the other a three-story building. Both were heavily damaged.

An hour and a half into the fire, a man came out of the second floor of the
three-story building. He was arrested, but was not suspected of having set
the fire, Stone said.

Stone said the squatter had only an onion to eat. "I felt sorry for him," he
said. "At least he'll get fed tonight."

Stone said there was another, much smaller fire eight to 10 weeks ago in a
fourth building in the same complex, which has about 30 buildings.

Sunday's fire was suspicious because there are no utilities on in the
buildings, he said.

The complex, just north of West Judge Perez Drive, and a dozen blocks west
of Paris Road, has been abandoned since it was damaged by Katrina, Stone

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