ST. LANDRY PARISH, LA (June 5, 2018) – The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal has arrested a man
accused of setting fire to his ex-girlfriend’s house, her father’s truck and her parents’ house.
Austin Blake Ceaser (DOB 8/4/82) has been booked with one count each of Aggravated Arson, Simple Arson, Arson by Injury and Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling along with three counts of Criminal Trespassing.
On March 9, just before Noon, St. Landry Fire District 3 called upon the OSFM to assist in determining the origin and cause of a house fire in the 200 block of Frilot Cove Road in Opelousas.
The owner was not home at time of the fire, but a neighbor told investigators she saw the owner’s ex- boyfriend, Ceaser, beating and trying to kick in the door just minutes before seeing fire.
There was heavy fire damage throughout the exterior of the home and heavy smoke damage on the interior. K-9 Bono was injured by debris while searching the scene for evidence of accelerants.
The fire was determined to be incendiary and a warrant was issued for Ceaser’s arrest, but he could not be located.
In the overnight hours of May 4, a vehicle fire was reported in the 200 block of L’Anse De Cavalier Road in Ville Platte.
The damage was to a Chevy pickup truck and was limited to the rear of the truck’s exterior. Investigators classified the case as incendiary.
The truck’s owner was the father of the March fire victim, who has lived at the Ville Platte home since her house was set on fire.
Ceaser was named as the suspect in the case and the search for his whereabouts continued.
On May 27, just after 1 a.m., the Ville Platte Fire Department requested assistance investigating, this time, a house fire at the same property in the 200 block of L’Anse De Cavalier Road.
The origin of the fire was determined to be just below a bedroom window A/C unit. There were eight people in the home at the time of the fire.
The female victim from the March fire told investigators she was sleeping when she smelled gasoline coming through her window unit. When she got up to check out the source, she found a fire and put it out with a hose.
She told investigators when she went to call 911, she saw seven missed calls from a blocked number.
The victim stated Ceaser has continued to harass her and her family since her house fire in March, despite her having an active protective order against him.
Ceaser turned himself in to the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office Saturday, June 2, accompanied by his attorney. He was transferred to the St. Landry Parish Jail Monday, June 4.