Former employee charged in shopping center arson investigation

BATON ROUGE — Baton Rouge Fire Investigators arrested a former employee who they say set fire to the Shopper’s Value Warehouse on July 25.

Fire officials say Trent Alexander Carter, 34, was arrested and charged with simple arson, terrorizing, and unauthorized entry of a place of business.

After interviewing store employees, fire investigators learned Carter was a former employee. The manager had allegedly gotten threatening text messages from Carter before the fire.

BRFD officials say eyewitness place Carter near the scene on the morning of the incident. Investigators collaborated with the Louisiana State Police Fugitive Task Force and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office to make an arrest.

Firefighters began battling the blaze at 5932 Airline around 2 a.m. Tuesday. Inside, firefighters say they found several pallets of paper towels on fire. The warehouse’s sprinkler system activated and helped control the flames.

No injuries were reported. The building sustained approximately $50,000 in damages.

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