UPDATE: Maryland man arrested for Ruston motel fire

Local News
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UPDATE:

(1/6/19) The State Fire Marshal’s Office has arrested a Maryland man for setting fire to a Ruston motel room he was a staying in.

Bruce Phillips Jr., 42, was booked into the Lincoln Parish Jail on on one count of Aggravated Arson.

Early Saturday morning, the Ruston Fire Department requested assistance from the SFM to investigate the origin and cause of a fire at the Relax Inn Motel.

Four rooms ended up damaged in the fire but no injuries were reported.

Investigators learned motel employees were first noticed the fire by witnessing a burning mattress being thrown from a balcony into the parking lot of the motel.

Investigators determined through a scene assessment and witness statements that the fire started in Room 31 and was classified as incendiary.

Investigators learned Phillips had checked into Room 31 a few hours prior to the fire and was seen standing outside of that room while the fire was active and growing.

Phillips had left the scene of the fire.

He was later located and interviewed by investigators then placed under arrest.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

(1/5/19) Louisiana State Fire Marshal investigators were on the scene of a motel fire in Ruston this morning.

The Ruston Fire Department received the fire call around 4:15 a.m. to the Relax Inn, located in the 1300 block of North Trenton Street.

Deputies continue looking into the origin and cause of the fire at this time.It is known that the building did not have a fire sprinkler system.

More information will be released as it becomes available.

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