Officials with the State Fire Marshal's Office have arrested a 37-year-old man from the town of Singer, La after he admitted to authorities he set a relative's home on fire after not getting forty dollars.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshal's Office arrested James Burnett Jr. on a charge of Aggravated Arson. Firefighters were called out to a mobile home to find that it was on fire, along with an adjacent mobile home. Ashley Rodrigue with State Fire Marshal's Office tells KPEL the family was in the process of scrapping the vacant mobile home for the metal.

James Burnett Jr.
Photo courtesy of Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Office

While they were discussing what happened that day, investigators say the Burnett admitted that when his grandfather failed to give him forty dollars that he wanted, he set the fire in the vacant mobile home. That fire quickly spread to the home next door where four people were sitting out on the patio. They were all safe after escaping the flames. The grandfather owns the property where all of this unfolded.

Deputies say that it was evident, based on statements from Burnett, that he went into the vacant mobile home and set something on fire.

Here is the information about how the law reads from Louisiana statute:


§51. Aggravated arson

A. Aggravated arson is the intentional damaging by any explosive substance or the setting fire to any structure, watercraft, or movable whereby it is foreseeable that human life might be endangered.

B. Whoever commits the crime of aggravated arson shall be imprisoned at hard labor for not less than six nor more than twenty years and shall be fined not more than twenty-five thousand dollars. Two years of such imprisonment at hard labor shall be without benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.

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