Four teens booked with arson, murder in fatal fire
OPELOUSAS - A 16-year-old boy and three 14-year-old boys have been booked with arson and second-degree murder for a fatal fire set off by fireworks, Opelousas Police Chief Perry Gallow says.
The fire Wednesday night killed 55-year-old Johnny Little, a city employee who was alone and believed to have been asleep when the fire broke out. He tried unsuccessfully to get out of the blazing house, Gallow said.
It's illegal to set off fireworks in Opelousas.
Gallow said Little called about 90 minutes before the fire to report that boys were setting off fireworks near his home, but officers were unable to find the boys.
Witnesses told police the boys were firing roman candles at the house, and one set fire to a curtain, Gallow said. He said the fire caused an explosion inside Little's house.
He said the boys were being held in the St. Martin Parish Correctional Center and will be tried as juveniles.
"They will have to live with this for the rest of their lives," he said.