By Jennifer Lenain, Item Staff Writer
The Picayune Item
A Picayune residence fire that occurred on June 12 has been determined to be arson.
At approximately 8:56 a.m. on Wednesday, the fire department and police department received calls from dispatch that a structure was on fire at 611 Weems St., Assistant to the Chief of Police Jeremy Magri said.
The fire fighters had to force their way in to access the residence, he said. “They located several piles of belongings scattered around the residence that had been lit on fire.
“When the fire was extinguished and vented, the scene was examined,” Magri said. “Two matches were located in the sink near the area that was on fire in the kitchen.”
The owner of the residence is Inez Hinton, 47, Magri said.
“Hinton spoke with the Fire Marshal and told him that she needed the report quickly,” Magri said. “She said she needed it to file for Red Cross assistance.
“Hinton initially told officers that she was out getting a haircut,” he said. She later gave a written statement saying she had gone next door to ask the neighbor if she needed her lawn cut, said Magri.
“Officers spoke with a neighbor that stated that they saw Hinton leave her residence on a bicycle,” Magri said. “They said smoke was billowing out of the residence a minute later.”
Detectives were called to the scene and through further investigation, determined that the residence was purposely set ablaze, Magri said.
Hinton was arrested for arson and transported to the Criminal Justice Center, Magri said. She is in custody and her bond has been set at $20,000, Magri said.
“Over the past several months, BankPlus has repossessed the residence of Inez Hinton,” Magri said. “On June 12 at approximately 8 a.m., Hinton was delivered an eviction order.”