WVa firefighter charged with setting blaze that killed responder

Crime

WELCH, W.Va. (AP) — Authorities in West Virginia say a volunteer firefighter accused of setting a blaze that killed a fellow fireman has been charged with murder and arson.

A criminal complaint shows that 36-year-old Robert Lee Beckner was charged with first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree arson on Thursday. An investigator with the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office wrote that Beckner confessed to setting a blaze at his own home in Iaeger last weekend.

Officials said 42-year-old Russell Roberson was responding with the local volunteer fire department when he was fatally injured while attempting to save a man nearby.

It’s unclear whether Beckner has an attorney who can comment for him.

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