PORT ALLEN — Authorities believe the Saturday morning apartment fire that forced nearby residents to evacuate their homes was intentionally started by a person who burglarized the unit, Port Allen Fire Chief Rick Boudreaux said Monday.
Saturday marked the second time the apartment had been burglarized within a two-week period, Boudreaux said.
Investigators believe the intruder, after breaking into the apartment at 250 N. 14th St. around 3:45 a.m. Saturday, set several articles of clothing and a bed on fire, Boudreaux said.
The occupant of the apartment wasn’t home at the time. Boudreaux said she had been staying with family members since her apartment was burglarized the first time.
“Knowing she wasn’t at home, someone tried to take advantage of her again,” Boudreaux said.
Police Chief Ken Bates said someone broke into the unit on June 26 around 11:18 p.m. and stole two television sets, a laptop computer and an Xbox game console.
No arrests have been made in the first burglary, he said.
Bates said the intruder in Saturday’s incident gained entry through a window that had been boarded up after the previous burglary. He said a few articles of clothing were reported missing from Saturday’s break-in.
The investigation into both burglaries is ongoing, Bates said. The state Fire Marshal’s Office is handling the investigation into Saturday’s fire, he added.
According to officials, two of the four units in the building suffered heavy damage, forcing six people from their homes into temporary housing provided by the Red Cross.
No one was injured in the blaze, officials said.