TERREBONNE PARISH, La. — After investigating a deadly fire in Houma that deputies called 'suspicious,' officials said they arrested a man Sunday who now faces a slew of charges, including second-degree murder.
According to State Fire Marshal officials, 37-year-old David Mason was arrested in connection to a car fire that spread to a house, destroying it along with a two-story garage apartment and killing a 39-year-old man.
Around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 31, the Houma Fire Department responded to a fire in the 200 block of Mahler Street and found the structures burning, officials said.
Two adults in the single-family house escaped unharmed before fire units arrived. A child who lived in the apartment warned another adult living their and both also escaped unharmed, according to officials.
The two structures and the car sustained heavy damage and were destroyed in the blaze as firefighters worked to stop the spread to neighboring houses.
The victim, identified as 39-year-old Wayne Winter Jr., who lived in the upstairs unit of the apartment, was found dead near the burned car.
Investigators examining the blaze called the spread and speed of the vehicle-fire 'suspicious,' and said they suspected foul play early into the investigation.
On Sunday, Mason was booked into the Terrebonne Parish jail. Investigators said he set fire to Winter's car, which spread to the structures and threatening to spread to other homes.
Mason faces one count of second-degree murder, two counts of aggravated arson and one count of criminal conspiracy.
Because of the threat to nearby occupied homes, he faces 16 counts of attempted second-degree murder.
Officials said the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected.