73-year-old Saleem Y. Dabit is behind bars on Tuesday, after a lengthy investigation, there is reason to believe that the owner of Sam the Man’s Men Fashion started the fire, according to the Baton Rouge Fire Department.
“Sam The Man,” as Dabit was known, was at the scene of the fire when firefighters arrived on January 1.
BRFD said, firefighters “responded to a fire at 5154 Plank Rd, a compound containing a retail clothing store (Sam’s Men’s Fashions), warehouses, and a residence.”
When firefighters arrived, the property was secure and the owner of the store was the only person on premises.
According to the Baton Rouge Fire Department, “the fire destroyed much of the warehouse area behind the clothing store.”
Saleem Y. Dabit did start an insurance claim and it was determined that damage to the structure was somewhere between $800,000 to $1 million.
Dabit was arrested at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 12, after a federal arrest warrant was issued earlier this month.
Dabit is facing these charges:
- Arson of a business involved in interstate commerce
- Use of fire to commit a federal felony
- Wire Fraud
BRFD said, “investigators have reason to believe Dabit set the fire to his business because of financial distress.”
The investigation included BRFD investigators and ATF agents.