Fire displaces residents in N.O. East

A fire that was apparently started by two boys playing with a lighter damaged two New Orleans East apartments Sunday, according to Capt. Edwin Holmes, of the New Orleans Fire Department.

Holmes said firefighters arrived about 11:25 a.m. in the 6700 block of Tara Lane, where they discovered smoke pouring out of a two-story wooden townhouse, one of a row of attached homes. The fire quickly spread to an adjacent townhouse through a common attic and rear wall. Both units were occupied at the time, according to Holmes.

The fire was suppressed by 12:07 p.m., Holmes said. He said 43 firefighters and 13 units were on the scene.

Two other occupied townhouses in the same row also suffered water and smoke damage.

Holmes said investigators determined the fire was caused by two boys, ages 4 and 7, who were igniting paper and throwing it out a second-story window. The paper eventually ignited a tarp on a deck, causing the fire, Holmes said.

The boys’ father smelled smoke and rushed outside to put out the fire with a hose, but by then the fire had already penetrated the dwelling’s rear wall and begun to burn between the brick and drywall. It also had spread to the neighboring townhouses.

An employee at a shop across the street noticed smoke coming from the roof of the first townhouse and was the first to call 911. By the time NOFD personnel arrived, the fire had already reached the attic.

No injuries were reported. The American Red Cross was assisting families that were displaced.

Coroner’s Office IDs Saturday murder victim

A man who was fatally shot Saturday in the Lower 9th Ward has been identified as Rashad Kinebrew, 21, by John Gagliano, chief investigator for the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office.

The shooting happened about 11:30 a.m. at Marais and Lizardi streets, according to Officer Hilal Williams, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Police Department.

Williams said Kinebrew was found in the street with multiple gunshot wounds to the body. She said police found a handgun under his body. He died at the scene.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Police search for car in Algiers hit-and-run

New Orleans police are searching for a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident early Friday morning in Algiers, according to Officer Hilal Williams, a spokeswoman for the NOPD.

Williams said the accident happened at Socrates Street and Shirley Drive.

She said a 43-year-old man was standing next to his truck when a gray vehicle, possibly a 2002 Toyota “compact vehicle” or a four-door SUV, crashed into the man and his truck.

The man was dragged close to 100 feet and suffered severe injuries to the head, torso and limbs, according to Williams.

The front license plate of the vehicle that caused the accident and then fled was knocked off by the impact, she said. It is Texas plate SCH481.

The vehicle likely has damage to the front passenger side and fender, according to Williams.

Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the vehicle is asked to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.