Jay-Z and Beyonce's mansion in New Orleans reportedly caught fire on Thursday (July 22). TMZ reported that the police are now investigating the incident as a possible arson case. The report also revealed that firefighters responded to the 1-alarm fire at the Spanish baroque mansion in the Garden District at 6 pm.
Sources told the tabloid that fire department took a little over two hours to fully extinguish the fire by a team of 22 firefighters. While the cause of fire was unknown at the time, the officials on Friday (July 23) revealed that this house fire has now been classified as simple arson.
The official also revealed that the property had been vacant for some time, and no injuries or evacuations were reported. However, the full extent of the damage remains unclear. A department spokesperson told the New York Post, "If they didn't get there when they did, it could have been much worse. It's a historic home."
The 3-story house features a main residence, 3 separate apartments, 26-foot ceilings, and a green roof with views of the city - including the Mississippi River Bridge and the Superdome. The mansion reportedly built in 1925 functioned as a Presbyterian church. It was later re-purposed as a ballet school.
Neighbours who did not want to be identified told local news outlet Nola.com that "people are known to use an unlocked gate to come onto and leave the property."
The officers also told TMZ that they initially responded to the scene after "a call about a suspicious person", but upon arriving and investigating they determined that fire had been set to the property deliberately.