Jerry Baker is a contractor and the owner of this vacant home on Evangeline Street, which is now covered in soot and filled with some burned furniture and appliances after a fire ripped through Thursday afternoon.
“The fact that since the flood, we’ve had so many properties that are down right now, and then to have one more property to go offline,” explained Baker.
Baker says he is renovating more than 100 properties to help people find affordable housing.
“There are a lack of materials right now due to the flood. When you add one more house that burned that you weren’t expecting to burn, you know, it just adds to the stress level, and the bottom line, and also that equates to this area having one less house for somebody to move in to, which increases the problem you have here,” said Baker.
The Baton Rouge Fire Department has put out more than 40 blazes this year so far, and the same goes for last year at this time, but this fire was determined to be an arson making it the 24th of the year.
“Last year, we were looking at about 14. We can’t say that there has been a big spike because due to this or that because if you look throughout the year, we have highs and lows. So, we can’t necessarily say it was due to one thing or another,” said Mark Miles, a public information officer for BRFD.
If you have any information about the most recent arson, call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867 (STOP).
We also reached out to the St. George Fire Department. Authorities could not tell us how many were arson, but firefighters have worked 15 building fires this year so far compared to three this time last year.