TANGIPAHOA PARISH -- Damage caused by chemical fires purposely set at three Walmart stores has topped the $1 million mark.
That tally does not include the loss of sales after the fires, allegedly set by Larry Schouest, forced the stores to close, authorities said.
Schouest reportedly admitted to mixing brake fluid and pool chemicals to create a diversion to steal laptops.
Sheriff Daniel Edwards said the stores in Ponchatoula, Hammond and Amite had to throw away clothing and food that were affected by chlorine gas after the fires.
Schouest was booked with aggravated arson, felony criminal damage and felony theft. He could face additional charges because of the amount of damage, Edwards said.