Published 4:00 am Sunday, October 2, 2022

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EVANGELINE PARISH – The State Fire Marshal’s Office, with assistance from the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office, has arrested a Ville Platte man for allegedly setting fire to a mobile home where four people, some of who were his relatives, were sleeping inside.
Rusty Gautreaux, 31, was booked into the Evangeline Parish Jail on four counts of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder and one count of Aggravated Arson.
In the morning hours of Thursday, Sept. 29, the Pine Prairie Ward Four Volunteer Fire Department responded to a report of a mobile home fire located in the 1000 block of Gautreaux Lane. Upon arrival, firefighters learned the occupants had successfully put the fire out and no one was injured.
Following an assessment of the scene, SFM deputies determined there were multiple areas of origin on the exterior of the mobile home and that they were intentionally set.
Deputies learned earlier that morning, a domestic dispute occurred at the home where witnesses say Gautreaux lit clothes on fire and threw them at the structure. The clothes were immediately tossed away from the structure and Gautreaux left the scene. However, after the four occupants returned inside and went to sleep, they were later awakened by the smell of smoke. Everyone escaped the home and the fire was put out while firefighters were on the way.
A warrant was obtained for Gautreaux’s arrest and the following day, Friday, Sept. 30, Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s deputies located Gautreaux and took him into custody.
The SFM is grateful for its partnership with the Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office to close this case quickly.