A Baton Rouge man set fire to his own apartment Wednesday night by igniting gasoline on his back porch, the Police Department said.
John Musa Akbar, 38, was arrested after he told police he set the fire with a cigarette lighter at his Sherwood Meadow Drive apartment, according to a police report.
A witness also saw Akbar light the fire, the report says.
It wasn’t clear Thursday why Akbar allegedly lit his own home on fire.
“There is no clear motive at this point,” said Curt Monte, a Baton Rouge Fire Department spokesman.
The first responders to the fire included several police officers and sheriff’s deputies who happened to be patrolling near the apartments when the blaze began, Monte said.
“Their quick actions to evacuate the building helped save lives,” Monte said.
Firefighters arrived at the four-plex at 2055 Sherwood Meadow Drive shortly after 6:30 p.m. and found the building engulfed in flames. It took them about an hour to control the blaze, Monte said.
The American Red Cross was called to assist the building’s 14 residents.
Akbar was booked Wednesday night into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of aggravated arson. He remained there Thursday morning, and it wasn’t clear whether bail had been set.