Fire damages home off Nicholson Drive and other Baton Rouge area police and fire news _lowres

Advocate staff photo by MATT MCKINNEY -- St George and Baton Rouge Fire Departments responded to a house fire at 14759 Memorial Tower in University Club Plantation Saturday at 7:43 p.m.

A fire caused major damage to a home on Memorial Tower Drive on Saturday evening, including a collapsed roof, but a parent and four children were able to escape unharmed, authorities said.

The St. George and Baton Rouge fire departments arrived at 14759 Memorial Tower Drive, off Nicholson Drive, about 7:30 p.m. Sunday and brought the blaze under control within an hour, St. George Fire Department spokesman Eldon Ledoux said in a new release.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire.

Man accused in September home invasion, beating

Baton Rouge police on Friday arrested a 24-year-old man who is accused of breaking into a Baton Rouge home in September and beating one of the residents.

Aaron Thomas sneaked into a home at 3135 Midway Ave. on Sept. 16 and was confronted by a man inside, according to the arrest warrant. Thomas, wearing a pair of gloves “with something hard inside,” bludgeoned the man in the head several times, the warrant says.

The man’s wife pulled Thomas away, at which point he fled the home, police said. The man suffered a broken nose, several cuts and bruises, and he required 10 stitches on his forehead, the warrant says.

Thomas, 8254 Skysail Ave., Baton Rouge, was booked into Parish Prison on counts of home invasion and second-degree battery.

Five booked on suspicion of DWI in EBR Parish

Authorities arrested at least five people suspected of driving while intoxicated in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked them into Parish Prison between 2:30 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, booking records show.

Those booked and the counts against them:

  • Tandem Blanchard, 32, 3838 Thomas Road, first-offense DWI, speeding and reckless operation of vehicle.
  • Thomas Brooks, 60, 864 Louise St., first-offense DWI, headlight required and expired motor vehicle inspection sticker.
  • Michael Hudson, 26, 6747 Renior Ave., first-offense DWI and driver’s license not in possession.
  • Keith Jones, 30, 9691 Monet Drive, Prairieville, first-offense DWI, driver’s license suspended or revoked and improper lane usage.
  • Jeffrey Major, 36, 545 Wiltz Ave., second-offense DWI and headlight required.
  • Breck Schexnayder, 22, 45115 Private Acres Drive, Amant, first-offense DWI, disobeying red light and reckless operation of vehicle.

Compiled from staff reports. To talk to a crime reporter at The Advocate, call (225) 388-0369.