Police: Man arrested for starting fire that displaced 19

Derrick T. Jones (Source: EBRSO)
Derrick T. Jones (Source: EBRSO)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge man has been arrested and charged with aggravated arson after an apartment fire that happened Saturday morning.

Baton Rouge Fire Department officials say arson is believed to be the cause of the fire that started in the downstairs bedroom. Fire destroyed the apartment and heavy and water damage were reported in the other three units in the building.

The apartment building fire in the 11000 block of Sherwood Hollow Court in Baton Rouge started just before 10:30 a.m. There were 19 people living in the building ranging in ages of two months to 53-years-old.

According to the Baton Rouge Police Department probable cause report, Derrick Jones, 35, went into the apartment and damaged a large flat screen TV and other personal items belonging to the victim before setting the bedroom on fire.

The report says Jones sent more than 25 text messages to the victim, where he threatened to kill her and family members. After setting the fire, Jones is also accused of calling the victim's mother and sisters telling them that "they would be next," according to the report.

The victims of the fire were assisted by Red Cross and were sent to a hotel because their homes were destroyed.

On Sunday, a BRPD officer was called to the hotel after the victim of the arson found the tires on her vehicle slashed. The victim was being relocated to a different hotel when she saw Jones following them.

Officers arrested Jones and booked him into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

The fire caused an estimated $100,000 in damage and displaced the 19 residents living in the building.

Jones has been charged with aggravated arson, terrorizing, stalking and aggravated burglary. He is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Law enforcement initially released an incorrect photo of the suspect in this case which has since been removed from our report.

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