Special needs client sets fire to center that helped him


An arson fire destroys a building in Many overnight. It’s the only place in Sabine Parish which offers complete services to those who are disabled.
No was hurt in the fire, but 100 people are out of work Wednesday at the ARC of Sabine after officials said a former client set fire to the building. The ARC of Sabine acts as a one-stop-shop for people with special needs.

Their services came to sudden halt after the fire destroys half of the building and ruins the inside. It started in the back storage building and spread to the front. 

It’s water, smoke, soot everyday. There’s a complete hole in the back of building, there’s no roof on one quarter of the building. It’s chaotic right now. Those feelings that’s gut wrenching and just wondering what’s going to happen next. I mean what do you do? We have 100 employees who work here,” said Roderick Davis, ARC of Sabine program director.

The Fire Marshal said the fire was set by 25-year-old Brett Shoemaker who was an ARC client.

“He’s a good kid and he’s a client here and I mean, we care for special need people so we’re going to try and help him as best as we can,” said Kenya Sweet, ARC of Sabine medical assistant.

No one was there when it happened but they lost equipment and files. They managed to salvage some documents. 

“Right now we have 78 clients who come here everyday and are at home and parents having to rearrange their schedules. We have work contracts we can’t fulfill,” Davis said.

He said the Board of Directors will look for an alternate building in hopes to have services back-up and running by Monday.

Shoemaker was charged with simple arson and trespassing. He was booked into the Sabine Parish Detention Center. 

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