NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A fire Tuesday night at a Garden District mansion owned by music megastars Beyoncé and Jay-Z is now being investigated as simple arson.
The home is on Harmony Street off of St. Charles Avenue.
The New Orleans Police Department received a report of a suspicious person in the area around the time of the fire.
An eyewitness told WGNO News that a man was seen running from the home and that the fire started in the kitchen.
“I was walking around the corner with my dog Ziggy Smalls and I saw a lot of smoke coming out,” said August Arthur. “My neighbor around the corner, she saw a dude jump over the fence on the backside of Harmony and Eighth.”
The New Orleans Fire Department has stayed quiet on the cause and extent of the damage. 22 firefighters battled the blaze for more than an hour.
Neighbors said the home has been vacant for years and has become rundown.
The three-story property was built in 1926 and was initially a church.
One neighbor said she’s complained to the Garden District Association multiple times about the home remaining in a state of disrepair. The neighbor did note that Beyoncé and Jay-Z have a “great gardener who takes care of the boxwoods.”
As for the suspect, an NOPD spokesperson said, “The report for this incident is still pending approval, so we cannot provide additional details at this time.”