Trailer fire may be arson

Published 12:53 am Tuesday, June 26, 2007

VIDALIA — A fire that burned down a man’s trailer Sunday is being investigated as an arson case, fire officials said Monday.

A call came in at 2:53 a.m. that a trailer on Ralph Road was on fire, Concordia Fire District No. 2 Chief Nolen Cothren said.

When firefighters arrived, the trailer was damaged pretty heavily.

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“Right now, it’s being investigated as arson,” Cothren said. “Some of the things we found there were not like they should have been.”

Cothren wouldn’t elaborate but said the state fire marshal’s office, along with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office, was aiding in the investigation.

No one was living in the trailer at the time, Cothren said.

“They were using it like storage,” he said. “It had a bunch of air conditioners and doors and windows inside it.”

Ralph Martin Sr., owner of the trailer park, said the trailer was severely damaged.

“It was all burned out,” Martin said. “Fire trucks were still there, poking around for any smoke they could find.”

While Martin owns the park, his stepson, Douglas Morris, owned the trailer, he said.

Morris would not comment Monday.

“He’d sleep in it once in a while, but he’d use it mainly as a place to have stuff stored,” Martin said.

Martin wouldn’t say whether or not he thought it was a case of arson.

“All I can say is, some things just happen,” he said. “I can’t say if it was arson or not. We don’t know.”

Martin also found all four of the tires on his truck slashed Sunday morning. That was unusual for him, he said.

“I’ve never had a tire cut, and I’ve been driving a vehicle for at least 60 years,” Martin said.