TERREBONNE PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Two Louisiana 19-year-olds have been arrested after allegedly setting a preschool on fire.

Tecumseh Norman Chaisson, 19, and Brooke Lirette, 19, both of Gray, have been arrested, according to the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO).

TPSO said that Chaisson was arrested on charges of simple burglary of a business and arson and that Lirette was arrested on charges of principal to simple burglary and principal to arson.

According to TPSO, the Bayou Cane Fire Department responded to the 700 block of Enterprise Drive in Houma in reference to a structure fire at a commercial building that was under construction on Dec. 26, 2022.

TPSO said that when deputies responded, they identified the structure as the future home of Pelican Point Preschool.

After the fire was extinguished, evidence was discovered that indicated that the fire was intentionally set. TPSO continued to investigate and obtained video surveillance which led to the discovery of a potential vehicle of interest.

Chaisson and Lirette were then identified as persons of interest and on Jan. 6, Lirette was located and brought in for questioning, TPSO said.

According to TPSO, Lirette’s interview provided details that Chaisson entered the building and stole numerous items. It was also learned that many of the items taken from the location were sold to local pawn shops.

This information led to a search of the vehicle and the shared residence of Chaisson and Lirette where evidence was located that linked Chaisson and Lirette to the burglary and arson of the business, TPSO said.

Detectives also attempted to interview Chaisson, who was arrested and jailed after the crime occurred for unrelated offenses, but he refused to speak to authorities, according to TPSO.

Bonds have been set at $200,000 for Chaisson and $100,000 for Lirette.

TPSO also said that this is an ongoing investigation, and it appears that additional charges are likely.

This case is extremely unfortunate for not only the victims of this incident, but for the families they intended to serve when they opened this month.  The safety of children in this parish is a priority and our agency takes it very seriously.  We will not stop until this investigation is resolved in the proper manner.  We sincerely hope that Pelican Point Preschool will overcome this setback and become a successful business that serves many families for years to come.

Sheriff Tim Soignet

Disclaimer: All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.