Benoit Ford devastated by fire, but remains open for business

By Emily Burleighr

Benoit Ford in DeRidder was devastated by a fire over the weekend, but they are still open for business.

At about 4:30 a.m. Saturday morning the Rosepine Fire Department responded to a call regarding a fire at the dealership, according to the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal.

In a 10-minute video posted to the Benoit Motors YouTube channel on Sunday, owner Jason Benoit said the fire began in the parts department — where lots of chemicals were present — and that the building has been completely totaled.

At this point in the investigation, LSFM deputies “have not reached a point to make a determination of any suspicious circumstances yet or not,” said Ashley Rodrigue, public affairs director.

“Corporate insurance is a disaster, nobody would do something like this,” Benoit said.

Benoit said he and his team have remained resilient despite the “very unique past 30 hours” and have “ample storehouses,” insurance policies and a “parking lot full of cars.”

Main operations have been moved to Benoit Nissan at 19844 Johnnie B. Memorial Hwy. Over the next couple of weeks, a 10,000 square-foot building on the back of the property will be converted into the Service and Parts Department, and salesmen will be working out of the four Benoit Motors showrooms in Vernon Parish.

Benoit asks for patience from the public.

“Give us a little grace in the fact that we’re going to open before we’re excellent.”

The public can assist in the investigation by sharing pictures or video of the fire, particularly the early stages of the fire. These pictures and videos can be submitted online at https://LSFM.evidence.com/…/community…/public/benoitfire. These can be submitted anonymously.

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