Investigators: Arson suspected in Maryland Street fire _lowres

Advocate Staff file photo by Kerry Maloney

The Baton Rouge Fire Department blames a malfunctioning water heater for starting a fire in one unit of a duplex at 2400 Hundred Oaks late Wednesday, causing heavy heat and smoke damage.

Firefighters arrived at 10:18 p.m. to find a bathroom and bedroom on fire, said department spokesman Curt Monte.

The fire was under control by 10:30 p.m., but not before the unit suffered an estimated $45,000 in damage, he said. The estimated prefire value was $60,000.

The occupant of the unit was not home at the time of the fire and the adjacent unit was unoccupied, Monte said.