Firefighting

Fire at New Orleans Political Consultant’s Home Deemed Possible Arson

A well-known New Orleans political consultant’s home was heavily damaged by a fire that apparently started in a car parked in his driveway off Prytania Street early Thursday morning, displacing his family and a neighbor, reports uptownmessenger.com.

New Orleans fire officials have deemed the fire a possible arson as a host of state and federal agents join the investigation, and a chorus of elected officials condemned the attack’s apparent political motivations.

The driveway exits onto Constantinople Street, which Thursday morning was blocked by investigators from the New Orleans Police Department, New Orleans Fire Department, State Fire Marshal and Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Two vehicles on Constantinople across from the house were completely destroyed, as was another car in the house’s driveway. The back end of the house — where the family’s bedrooms were located — was also heavily burned.

When firefighters arrived at 2:33 a.m., both cars were on fire and the flames had spread to the house, according to a New Orleans Fire Department news release. It took 26 firefighters on 10 vehicles to bring it under control, the release states.

“The cause of this fire, with two different points of origin, is deemed suspicious and is being investigated for possible arson,” the release states.

Mario Zervigon, a campaign strategist who has worked for a number of city and state officials, said he woke up around 2:30 a.m. and realized something was on fire.

“I just know I woke up and saw the glow,” Zervigon said. “I opened the door, and saw the entire car engulfed.”

Zervigon got his wife and children out safely, but two of their cats were killed, he said. The family that lived upstairs also got out unharmed, Zervigon said.

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