• A suspicious man was reportedly seen in the area around the time of the fire
  • The fire was fully extinguished by 9.30 p.m. ET
  • The mansion was built in 1926 and was initially a church

A $2.4-million Garden District mansion in New Orleans owned by music stars Beyonce and Jay-Z caught fire Wednesday night. The New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) is yet to determine the cause of the blaze but an early investigation into the incident suggests it could be a case of "simple arson."

An NOPD spokesperson confirmed to The New York Post that the fire had begun at around 7.15 ET. A total of 22 firefighters responded to the fire, which was contained at 8 p.m. and declared fully extinguished by 9.30 p.m. No injuries or evacuations were reported at the scene.

"If they didn't get there when they did, it could have been much worse," the spokesperson said, adding: "It's a historic home."

According to a report from local news outlet WGNO, authorities received a report of a suspicious person in the area around the time of the fire, prompting them to investigate the incident as a case of "simple arson." An eyewitness told the outlet that the man had been seen running from the mansion before the fire had begun in the kitchen.

"I was walking around the corner with my dog Ziggy Smalls and I saw a lot of smoke coming out," the witness told WGNO. "My neighbor around the corner, she saw a dude jump over the fence on the backside of Harmony and Eight."

Meanwhile, a neighbor told the outlet that she had complained to the Garden District Association several times about the property being in a state of disrepair for a very long time. The neighbor noted, however, that Beyonce and Jay-Z had a "great gardener who takes care of the boxwoods."

As of writing, the NOPD is yet to identify the culprit behind the suspected arson. "The report for this incident is still pending approval, so we cannot provide additional details at this time," police said.

The three-story, six-bedroom property was built in 1926 and was initially known as the Westminster Presbyterian Church. Spanning 15,200 square feet, it eventually housed an eight-dancer ballet company before it was converted to a home in 2000. Beyonce acquired it in 2015.

Jay Z and Beyonce attend The 59th Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Feb. 12, 2017. Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS