Maryland man arrested for Ruston motel fire

Courtesy: Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal
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RUSTON, La. (KNOE) - The State Fire Marshal’s Office has arrested a Maryland man for setting fire to a Ruston motel room on Saturday, January 5.

Bruce Phillips Jr., 42, was booked into the Lincoln Parish Jail on one count of Aggravated Arson.

The fire broke out around 4:15 AM at the Relaxx Inn on North Trenton Street in Ruston.

The Fire Marshal’s Office says motel employees saw a burning mattress being thrown from a balcony into the parking lot of the motel. Investigators determined that the fire started in Room 31. They say Phillips had checked into Room 31 just hours before the fire started and he was seen standing outside of the room while the fire was active and growing.

Deputies later located Phillips, who had left the scene of the fire.

Four units were damaged in the fire. No injuries were reported.

Investigators say the building did not have a sprinkler system, which would have helped put out the fire sooner.