Shreveport Crews Taxed During Arson Spree

A man suspected of setting seven fires in four locations in Shreveport on Aug. 25 has been arrested.

The fires included one that destroyed the historic headquarters of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council.

The blazes that occurred within a half mile radius were handled my multiple crews. At one time, 15 of the city's 22 stations were dispatched.

Fire Chief Brian A. Crawford said: "The multiple fires challenged our reserve resources down to six (6) engine companies covering the entire city.  The remaining units were equally dispersed throughout the city's six fire battalions to provide emergency coverage based on our standing protocols for such actions. Additionally, we requested and received confirmation from Bossier City Fire Department and Caddo Fire Districts to stand-by as needed. The time of day helped our resource situation, as the middle and early morning are our slowest call volume times. Our Fire Investigators, working in conjunction with the Shreveport Police Department, did an outstanding job in developing a suspect who had a prior history of arson..."


Gary Vinson, 38, was arrested by Shreveport fire investigators and the Shreveport Police Department.


Simple Arson is the intentional setting of fire to the property of another without the owner's consent. It carries a 2-15 year prison sentence and up to a $15,000 fine.


Fire investigators believe the suspect intentionally set fire to the Shreveport Regional Arts Council Building located at 800 Snow St. 


"As Fire Chief of the Shreveport Fire Department, I am excited about the cooperative effort between Arson Investigators and Shreveport Police Department detectives to apprehend this dangerous suspect that has deliberately damaged property of the citizens of this great city.  The city of Shreveport is a  safer place with this serial arsonist of the streets," Crawford said.

After an aggressive investigation, investigators also have compiled a comprehensive list of additional charges. They involved other blazes that occurred on Aug. 25.