A Sulphur man is in jail on arson charges stemming from a dispute with a neighbor, according to Sulphur Fire Chief Dan Selph.
Tae’Mar Kenebrew, 21, 505 W. Burton St., was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Correctional Facility on June 5 for simple arson and unauthorized entry in connection with the fire. His bond was set at $50,000.
Selph said that at around 9:50 p.m. Saturday, May 26, the SFD was called to the 500 block of North Crocker St. in regard to an 18-wheeler trailer on fire. The structure, unoccupied at the time of the fire, was being used as a residence. It had no utilities.
The chief said when fire fighters responded to the call, “Several things pointed to an unexplained ignition source.” The SFD was unable to track down the alleged suspect or any witnesses.
Sulphur Fire Prevention Officer Richard Wingard called the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal for assistance. During an investigation by OSFM deputies, a witness reported that Kenebrew said the occupant of the trailer owed him money — said to be $20 — and if it wasn’t paid by 9:30 p.m. that Saturday, his house would be burned down by 9:45 p.m.
Witnesses reported seeing Kennebrew set the fire. OSFM deputies conducted their own assessment of the scene and determined the origin to be a mattress in the north end of the structure. The case was classified as incendiary.
“Arson is usually tough to prove and tough to prosecute,” said Selph. “I think because of the dispute, this guy’s anger got the better of him, which is why he committed arson in view of witnesses.”
According to OSFM Public Affairs Director Ashley Rodrigue, during an interview with investigators, Kenebrew admitted to threatening to burn the victim’s home, but would not say why. Kenebrew also admitted to going over to the victim’s home and entering while the victim was not there, but would not admit to setting the fire.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Kenebrew had not bonded out.