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Fire Marshal: Suspect confessed to lighting fires

3 years 7 months 6 days ago September 19, 2013 Sep 19, 2013 Thursday, September 19 2013 September 19, 2013 4:49 PM in News
Source: La. Office of State Fire Marshal
By: Russell Jones & Troy Gaulden

NEW ROADS - Fire investigators said today that the suspect in multiple arsons around New Roads this week confessed to setting all of them.

State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said Nick Powell, 19, admitted to setting six of the fires reported between Monday night and early Wednesday morning around the city. Investigators ruled a seventh reported fire on Dolph Street as accidental.

Residents say they're relived that the man behind the fires was caught."Hopefully, this doesn't happen again. I guess the whole community is relieved," said Gerald Augustine.

"I'm still not comfortable, but it is a big relief that he has been caught. At least that guy is not there, thank God," said Nora Palmer.

Browning said they believe Powell acted alone, and are also looking into any connection he may have with other unsolved fires reported around the area in the past few months.

Browning says tips from residents lead to Powell.

"When we go into a community and talk to people and we ask questions, if they're truthful and honest and provide information to us, much of that information leads to a suspect. That's what happened here," he said.

Thursday Powell reenacted how he set the fires to investigators on scene. Fire officials say Powell has a desire to set fires and is a danger to society.

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