Arson leaves one suspect dead, second suspect in critical condition

Arson leaves 1 suspect dead, second suspect in critical condition

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) - Investigators from the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office and the State Fire Marshal's Office continue to piece together the facts surrounding a recent arson that destroyed a Gonzales home.

On the evening of Friday, August 14th, Ascension Parish authorities responded to a residential fire located on Tom Miles road near its intersection with Louisiana Highway 941, where they found the home engulfed in flames.

During the investigation, witnesses told deputies they saw two men running from the house, and one was described as "being on fire." Witnesses say the men got into a car and left the scene.

State Fire Marshal investigators determined the fire had been intentionally set, as evidenced by the multiple points of origins found in the rear of the structure.

On Saturday, officials learned two males had been taken to the burn unit of the Baton Rouge General Medical Center. The men told officials they were injured while trying to burn a pile of old, discarded tires.

The two males, now suspects in the arson, were identified by State Fire Marshal investigators as Joel Morrison, 68, of Marrero, and his nephew, Larry Morrison, Jr., 28, of New Orleans. Both men have extensive criminal histories.

Hospital officials report Larry Morrison, Jr. died Tuesday morning from his injuries and Joel Morrison is still in critical condition.

"We are continuing to work closely with Sheriff Wiley and his department in this investigation, which is far from being resolved," stated State Fire Marshal H. "Butch" Browning, Jr.

Anyone with information concerning this arson is urged to contact the State Fire Marshal's Arson Tip Line at 1-800-256-5452, or Crime Stoppers at 225-344-STOP (7867). Cash rewards may be available and callers may remain anonymous.

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