OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The State Fire Marshal’s Office has taken a West Monroe couple into custody for allegedly setting their own mobile home on fire in order to collect insurance money. The fire posed a threat to nearby mobile home occupants. 

On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, Charles Robertson, 54, and Tonya Scott, 33, were booked into the Ouachita Parish Jail. The couple received one count each of Aggravated Arson, Criminal Conspiracy and Insurance Fraud.

The Ouachita Parish Fire Department responded to a report of a mobile home fire in the 1200 block of Avanti Lane in the later hours of December 16, 2021. There were two occupied mobile homes nearby that were threatened by the fire. Fortunately, everyone was able to escape safely.

The fire was initially thought to have been accidental, caused by a space heater placed too close to flammable objects. The State Fire Marshal’s investigators received a tip in January 2022 that suggested the fire was done intentionally.

Using witness statements, surveillance videos, and records research, deputies determined that the fire was intentionally set, and they identified Robertson and Scott, the mobile home owners, as suspects. The couple was taken into custody on Tuesday, February 14, 2023.