Vermilion

Feb 4, 2012 11:34 PM by Chris Welty

Man Facing 12 Counts of Arson in Kaplan

In Kaplan, a major break in a string of arsons that have had residents on edge for years.

55-year-old Felecian Primeaux of Kaplan is facing 12 counts of arson, dating back to 2007. He was arrested at his home Saturday morning after police say the suspect was caught on tape.

Residents are relieved that an arrest has finally been made and say they say they're in shock that Primeaux, a man well known in their neighborhood, confessed to the crimes.

"The citizens were scared. It was about time. We have been working," said Kaplan Police Chief Boyd Adams.

Since 2007 an arsonist has terrified the community of Kaplan. As of Saturday, residents can rest a little easier knowing that Felecian Primeaux is behind bars.

"A lot of houses were burning down. It's a shock to find out he's the major one that did burn them down," said Primeaux's neighbor, Randy Lee.

Investigators say in all nine buildings were set on fire and three of them multiple times. Primeaux is facing 12 counts of simple arson after confessing to the crimes.

Chief Adams says, "He told me that he didn't like seeing abandoned property and blighted property. 'So his way to take care of it was to torch it?' Yep, correct."

The latest arson took place early Saturday morning on Tenth Street in Kaplan. Law enforcement set up surveillance cameras and saw the suspect entering the home, setting the house on fire and the flames quickly spread to the home next door.

"The suspect entered the front door and he threw a torch of some sort and left the house and it caught fire," said Adams.

Throughout the years and fires, luckily no injuries to report, but investigators say this arson spree could have been much worse.

"When a fire is set, it can get out of control quickly and spread from one structure to the other. Many injuries and deaths that we see in the state are from fires that spread from one building to another building. I'll tell you, we were lucky no one was injured," said State Fire Marshall Butch Browning.

I did ask investigators if it's possible that Primeaux returned to the scene to watch fire fighters battle the blaze, and they said there is plenty evidence against Primeaux and couldn't comment any further citing the ongoing investigation.

Primeaux was booked into the Vermillion Parish Jail and his bond is set at
300 thousand dollars.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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