Arson Charge - Eddie Smith

Eddie Smith 

DENHAM SPRINGS -- A man who burned a trailer in Springfield on Feb. 3 was not evicted by FEMA, a spokeswoman for the agency said Feb. 11.

The unit involved in the fire was a travel trailer sold to a private owner following Hurricane Katrina, according to Melissa Wilkins, who works in FEMA External Affairs at the Baton Rouge office.

"FEMA no longer has ownership or oversight of the unit or any records pertaining to the sale of the travel trailer," she said. "The renter or occupant was not evicted by FEMA.

"As we understand it, the property owner of the trailer evicted the occupant," Wilkins said.

The news release issued by the Office of the State Fire Marshal described the unit as a "FEMA MHU." 

The initial investigation concluded that the blaze was incendiary. An additional investigation by the OSFM alleged that Smith started the fire, based on information provided by witnesses.

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