NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The man arrested in connection with Wednesday's six-alarm fire in the CBD made a court appearance Thursday afternoon. Police said 25-year-old Darren Denley intentionally set the fire to stay warm, and it grew out of control.
Meanwhile, New Orleans firefighters stood by most of the day, as shoring experts assessed the damage.
"This was a big building. It had big beams and support system, it had a lot of old wood - no steel frames back then, all wood, very combustible," said shoring expert Greg Abry.
That combustion produced a fire that raged for hours. Four businesses and a block-long section of sidewalk remain closed.
"The condition is good, no damage from fire, but the power is off," said Young Chin with Boostmobile.
The shutdown couldn't come at a worse time, for businesses eager to profit from Carnival traffic.
"That's impossible. That's a big blow to us. It's the time of the year we wait for," said John Jabbar with Athlete's Foot, store that sustained damage from water and smoke.
"It might take a month or two, I'm blessed that I still have the building," Jabbar said.
While four businesses remain closed, Fisher's Jewelers reopened.