A 25-year-old homeless man was arrested late Wednesday after officials say he started a fire in a Canal Street building to keep warm, spurring a blaze that took more than 90 firefighters nearly nine hours to put out.
At the scene of the fire Wednesday, a WWL-TV photographer captured exclusive video of the suspect, Darren Denley, yelling at the camera as he was being led to speak with investigators, WWL reported.
In the video, Denley says, “I woke up and the fire was already started,” and later, “I want my money, I’m a respect.”
Denley was booked on charges of burning trash improperly and crossing police lines, WWL reported.
The fire, which began inside the building at 1016-1022 Canal St., just down the street from the historic Roosevelt Hotel, had been going for 90 minutes before anyone called for help, New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Timothy McConnell said Wednesday.
McConnell told reporters that neither the building nor its neighboring structures had alarms or fire-suppression systems.