UPDATE: Tips lead police to arrest suspect in Church Point fire investigation

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UPDATE: According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, late Saturday afternoon, 67-year-old Charles Richard of Lafayette, was arrested on one count of aggravated arson and three counts of simple arson in connection with several intentionally-set fires that occurred within blocks of each other inside the town of Church Point.

CHURCH POINT, La. (KLFY) — The State Fire Marshal’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating a person of interest wanted for questioning in connection with several intentionally-set fires that occurred within blocks of each other inside the town of Church Point.

Starting around 1:30 a.m. on Friday, March 20, the Church Point Fire Department responded to a call for a house fire in the 200 block of East Canal Street. The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire and suffered the most damage in the carport area.

Minutes later, firefighters were called to a mattress on fire in the 500 block of North Main Street. Around 4:45 a.m., Church Point fire department responded to a blaze at a business in the 300 block of N Main Street. Damage to Spanky’s Small Engine and Mower Sales, owned by the town’s mayor, was limited to the back exterior of the building. Minutes after that call, firefighters responded to a dumpster fire behind a business also in the 300 block of N Main Street.

The Fire Marshal’s Office was contacted to investigate the fires due to their suspicious circumstances. There were no injuries reported with any of the fires.

Following an assessment of the scenes, including obtaining video evidence from at least two, deputies determined all of the fires were intentionally set and are now looking for a person-of-interest.

In the attached surveillance photographs, the unidentified male can be seen wearing a jacket or sweater over a white collared shirt, pants and eye glasses. He’s also seen traveling on a bicycle with a large duffle bag on the back.

Anyone with information about this person’s identity and whereabouts should contact our Arson Hotline at 1-844-954-1221 or share the information through our online tip form found at lasfm.org.

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