Man arrested for setting his house on fire with someone inside

Local News
Joseph Smithhart 08.01.18_1533144808885.PNG.jpg

A Logansport man has been arrested after he allegedly set his home on fire while another person slept inside.

Joseph Smithhart, 27, was booked into the DeSoto Parish Jail for one count of Aggravated Arson. 

The blaze broke out around 11 a.m. on Monday in the 800 block of Willie Glaze Rd.  

When investigators with the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal arrived Smithhart had barricaded himself in his vehicle and armed himself with a broken piece of glass, which he was threatening to harm himself with.

Detectives later determined Smithhart had attempted to burn his house by pouring gas on the floor and igniting it. 

A second person who was in the house at the time of the fire told investigators they had been asleep when Smithhart came in and told them the house was on fire. 

The second person said they both got out of the house and he, alone, called 911 and attempted to put the fire out with a hose.

When investigators tried to talk to Smithhart, he would only say “gas got spilled and caught fire.” After several attempts to get Smithhart to drop the glass he was threatening himself with, deputies with the DPSO deployed a taser and removed Smithhart from the vehicle and away from the glass. He was then placed under arrest.

The DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office also booked Smithhart on one count of Resisting an Officer.

Meanwhile, the State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind the public about our Arson Hotline where suspicious fire and/or explosion-related activity can be reported anonymously. 

Tips can be called in to 1-866-946-1097 or submitted online at

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