LeBeau Plantation, the historical landmark that was once one of the largest in the south, was completely destroyed by a fire that started early Friday morning. The plantation is one of the largest such estates that can be found south of New Orleans. St. Bernard Parish Fire Chief, Thomas Stone, said that the first call regarding the fire came a little after 2:00 Friday morning. By the time the first crews arrived on the scene, Stone says, ‘it was engulfed,’ and a ‘lost cause.’
Sadly, LeBeau had been a massive marker of the Old Arabi historic district near New Orleans for decades. According to the Greater New Orleans Times-Picayune, the home was erected in the 1850’s, and has served as a private home, boarding house, hotel, and illegal casino over the years. Six fire trucks, two rescue teams, and 25 firemen could not save the crumbling structure; all that was left were the chimneys, some of the brick wall on the interior, and its foundation.
The current owners of the home are the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation, though it hasn’t been inhabited for years. The president of the Foundation says that her family is ‘saddened’ by the loss of the home, and had many plans for the landmark. Unfortunately, those plans will never see fruition, as the home is ‘a total devastation,’ according to Chief Stone.
There were seven men arrested in regard to the fire later on Friday, ranging in age from 17 to 31. The seven males being detained for allegedly starting the fire had been “ghost-hunting” in the house, as well as drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. They are purported to have caused $50,000 worth of damages in the destruction of the property.
Main image courtesy infrogmation via Wikimedia Commons.