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SWAT team arrests accused arsonist at Tigerland apartment overnight

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BATON ROUGE - A SWAT team took a suspected arsonist into custody late Thursday night after investigators tied him to a fire that destroyed a house earlier that same day.

George Emmanuel Smith was arrested at an apartment complex on Jim Taylor Drive in Tigerland Thursday night. WBRZ caught video of the huge police response, which included a SWAT vehicle and officers in body armor.

Smith was seen exiting an apartment at the request of police late Thursday and was taken into custody without further incident. 

The Baton Rouge Fire Department said Smith is suspected of setting a home on fire on Topeka Street around 1 a.m. that morning. No one was home at the time, but the department said the house was a total loss.

The department said Smith was booked on charges of simple arson, terrorizing, home invasion, and domestic battery.

Officials said Baton Rouge Fire investigators, the Louisiana State Police Fugitive Task Force, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Baton Rouge Police Department.

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