Firefighters fight two blazes, one is a suspected arson

Baton Rouge firefighters responded to two fires Monday afternoon, one caused by an overloaded extension cord at an apartment complex and another that investigators suspect was intentionally set.

Firefighters responded to Hawthorne Heights Apartments on Lobdell Avenue at 12:30 p.m. and found flames coming out through the eves of the eight-unit apartment building, said Curt Monte, a spokesman for the Baton Rouge Fire Department.

By 12:50 p.m., firefighters had put out the flames, but not before the blaze destroyed the unit where the fire began, Apt. 805, and two neighboring units, Monte said. The other five units in the building had heavy smoke, heat and water damage.

The American Red Cross was called to assist the six displaced residents, Monte said.

Fifteen minutes after they were called to the Hawthorne Heights fire, firefighters were called to 3729 Alliquippa St. for a fire that had spread throughout the structure by the time fire trucks arrived, Monte said.

The home is a loss after it received significant fire and water damage, Monte said.

Investigators suspect the fire was intentionally set.

It began in a rear bedroom before spreading to other parts of the home, Monte said.

One firefighter received minor injuries after embers fell on him, causing what officials said were first-degree burns to his head, Monte said.

He was not taken to a hospital for treatment.