Louisiana man accused of setting house on fire with kids inside; told authorities drugs, mental illness was to blame


OAKDALE, La. (KLFY) An Oakdale man is behind bars and facing several charges, including aggravated arson.

According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, 49-year-old Craig Paul was booked on April 8 for two counts of manufacture and possession of a delayed action incendiary device and one count of aggravated arson.

On April 6, the Oakdale Police Department requested the SFM to assist them with investigating a house fire where suspicious objects were discovered on the scene.

At the time of the fire, the home was occupied by two women and two children, the SFM said.

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After an assessment of the scene, including witness statements and evidence collection, deputies determined the suspicious objects were homemade explosive devices and that Paul was a person of interest in the case.

After being taken in for questioning, the SFM said, Paul admitted to making the devices and to setting the tarp on fire.

He attributed use of illegal narcotics and struggles with mental illness as reasons for his actions, the SFM said.

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