Police and Fire Briefs for Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Suspect wanted
in store robbery

Baton Rouge police are searching for a man who may have been involved in a Tuesday morning robbery of the Circle K convenience store on Jefferson Highway.

A man walked into the store at 7475 Jefferson Highway at 5:37 a.m. and stole multiple items, police Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said in a news release.

The suspect is described as a black man, 5 feet 9 inches, 170 pounds, between 35 and 50 years old with a goatee and bumps on his face, McKneely said.

Anyone with information on this incident can contact police at (225) 389-3845 or Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

Leak causes haze
at BR business

A Freon leak caused a haze Tuesday inside a Merchant Drive business that houses radioactive isotopes and cold liquid materials, the St. George Fire Department said.

Firefighers responded to a 10:59 a.m. report of the haze at Southern Isotopes, 11551 Merchant Drive, in the Industriplex area, St. George spokesman Eldon Ledoux said in a news release.

St. George investigators and the Baton Rouge Fire Department’s Hazardous Material team determined no hazardous materials were released and there was no public danger, Ledoux said.

The company’s staff assured firefighters that all radioactive sources were properly contained and secure, Ledoux said.

St. George firefighters entered the building and saw the haze had no readily apparent source, Ledoux said.

Firefighters then exited the building, created a safe perimeter in the area and established air monitoring, Ledoux said.

Southern Isotopes uses radioactive isotopes and cold liquid materials in clinical radiography, Ledoux said.

Arson suspected
in BR house fire

Baton Rouge firefighters suspect arson in a blaze Monday evening that engulfed a vacant house and heavily damaged a nearby house on Birch Road.

Firefighters arrived at 7:14 p.m. at 1838 Birch and found flames had spread from the vacant house where the fire started to an occupied home next door, Fire Department spokesman Curt Monte said in a news release.

The second home was about 50 percent involved in flames, Monte said.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control at 7:33 p.m., Monte said.

The vacant house is considered a total loss, and the occupied home suffered about $45,000 in damage, Monte said.

A resident who lived in the home next door escaped unharmed, Monte said.

The Red Cross was called to assist the resident.

No one was injured, Monte said.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.