LPN charged with attempted murder, arson in series of fires at nursing home

A nursing home LPN has been charged with attempted 1st-degree murder for allegedly setting five fires at Bayou Chateau Nursing Home in Simmesport -- including four on the weekend of March 25-26.

Brittany Dupar, 27, of Simmesport, was arrested by Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office investigators on March 31.

She was booked into the Women’s Prison in Cottonport on two counts of attempted 1st-degree murder, five counts of aggravated arson of an inhabited dwelling and 70 counts of cruelty to a person with infirmity, a Fire Marshal’s spokesman said. Bond was set at $250,000.

Dupar has been an LPN at the nursing home for about a year. She began employment there in housekeeping and then as a CNA before becoming an LPN.

The nursing home was briefly evacuated on a Sunday afternoon after the nursing home’s sprinkler system and fire alarm were activated.

Acadian Ambulance reported that two patients were transported to other nursing facilities and one was to taken to an area hospital.

Initial reports indicated there was no damage due to the fire and that water from the sprinkler system was quickly cleaned up by community volunteers who responded to the scene. Once the clean-up was completed, residents were allowed to return.

The Fire Marshal’s spokesman said investigators have not determined a motive for the incidents.

Two fires were set Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Two more were set Sunday, March 26, at 10 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. Because the sprinkler system was activated in the last fire, the Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate. During that investigation, it was learned that the nursing home had another fire on Nov. 10, 2016.

Two of the five fires were to bedding while residents were in the bed. The last fire was in a supply closet. Another was under a bathroom sink. One was elsewhere in a patient’s room.

There were no serious injuries reported from any of the incidents. Nursing home staff were able to extinguish all of the fires quickly.

Had the Sunday afternoon fire not activated the sprinkler system, the Fire Marshal’s Office would not have been alerted to investigate.

“It is a blessing we became aware of this pattern and were able to identify the responsible person before someone was killed or seriously injured,” the Fire Marshal’s spokesman said.

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