The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office has identified arson as the cause of an early morning Sunday fire that resulted in the Line of Duty death of that 38 year old W.Va. Air National Guard Firefighter. The airman assigned to the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg was killed in the Line of Duty while operating at that structural fire mutual aid response on Charles Town Road.
TWO ARSON FIRES AROUND THE TIME, SAME AREA:
W. VA. SFMO investigators have connected that 0156 hours fire with a second structure fire that occurred at around 0136 hours also on Charles Town Road in neighboring Jefferson County. The structures were vacant and not in use, and about 3.1 miles apart. Both fires were intentionally set, investigators have determined. The SFMO and the W.Va. State Police continue to investigate. Anyone with any information is urged to call the West Virginia Arson Hotline at (800) 233-3473. There is a reward of up to $5,000 for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
We regret to pass on that a 38 year old Firefighter with the 167th Air Lift Wing of the West Virginia Air National Guard Fire Department (Martinsburg) was killed in the Line of Duty. He was killed while operating at the scene of a mutual aid structure fire in Kearneysville, WV around 0200 hours this morning. The area is in the eastern panhandle area of West Virginia, west of Washington D.C.near the Maryland line. Additional reports are that the members were operating at that structure fire and there was a collapse of some kind at around 0230 hours. Several other Firefighters were injured and were transported (some have been released) and others undergoing medical care.
For those unfamiliar, it is very common for the DC region Federal and Military fire departments to operate regularly with area county/municipal fire and rescue services.
This structure fire was one of several in the Kearneysville area this morning and West Virginia Fire Marshals along with mutual aid fire investigators are operating. Our condolences to all those affected and prayers to the family and all others that were injured. More to follow.