St. John Parish Daycare Fire
Fire crews worked through the night on May 17 to get a fire at a daycare center in Laplace under control. (Photo: St. John Parish Fire Department)

Man arrested for allegedly burning down ex-wife’s daycare center

  • St. John Parish Daycare Fire
  • St. John Parish Daycare Fire
  • St. John Parish Daycare Fire

LAPLACE — A man has been arrested for allegedly attempting to burn down his ex-wife’s daycare center in Laplace.

Timothy Charles, Jr., 39, was booked into the St. John Parish Correctional Center on one count each of aggravated arson and simple burglary.

The St. John Parish Fire Department responded to the fire in the 100 block of W. 5th St. at 11:30 p.m. on May 16. Firefighters reported that the building was fully engulfed in flames upon their arrival. At least three vehicles were destroyed, and investigators indicated that the fire posed a threat to an occupied neighboring home.

Investigators determined that the fire was deliberately set and identified Charles, the ex-husband of the daycare owner, as the suspect. Charles was booked into custody on Saturday morning.

A booking photo was not provided due to Act No. 494, which places restrictions on mugshots released to the media for most offenses with exceptions for certain violent crimes.

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal says that although the building currently functions as a daycare, many recognize it as a former church.

There is a GoFundMe fundraiser setup to help the Little Harvard Learning Academy. Donations will go to pay for classroom supplies, learning materials and other equipment lost in the fire. The daycare center’s owner says that since she didn’t own the building, she will not be able to replace what was lost.

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