Authorities were investigating a fire Thursday morning at a New Orleans political fundraiser’s home that is believed to have been set off by the firebombing of the man’s cars, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
The fire occurred at the home of Mario Zervigon around 2:30 a.m. local time, according to the newspaper. Two vehicles belonging to Zervigon, one parked across the street and another parked in the driveway, were engulfed in flames when the family awoke, according to the report.
The home was divided into three apartments and Zervigon helped eight occupants, including his wife and children, escape the fire, according to the report. Three cats died while two other pets were rescued.
A news release from the New Orleans Fire Department stated that the cause of the fire was deemed “suspicious.” The agency was investigating possible arson along with the state fire marshals and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to the release.
Zervigon serves as a campaign finance director for the campaigns of Public Service Commission candidate Forest Wright, who is facing a runoff, and Civil District Court Judge Bernadette D’Souza, who was just successfully re-elected, according to the Times-Picayune.
“I don’t know if anything is connected to anything I do,” Zervigon told the newspaper. “But all I do is simple, basic fundraising and campaign work.”
Family spokesman Andrew Tuozzolo confirmed to TPM That Zervigon’s home and vehicles were gutted in the blaze.
Mario Zervigon’s New Orleans home was gutted in a blaze that authorities are investigating as possible arson. (Image via Andrew Tuozzolo)
This post has been updated at 3:33 p.m.