FAIRMONT, W.Va. — A man has received multiple charges after attempting to burn down a Subway restaurant in Fairmont from which he was fired, police said.
On July 15, officers with the Fairmont Police Department were on patrol to perform a building check near a Subway restaurant in Fairmont, according to a criminal complaint.
During that time, officers said they saw Nicholas Billups, 20, of Fairmont, “lean down and ignite a substance on the ground,” which “ignited rapidly and flared up indicating an accelerant had been used to start the fire.”
At that point, officers activated their cruiser’s emergency lights and siren and detained Billups, as well as extinguishing the fire “before any significant damage could be done to the Subway restaurant,” according to the complaint.
Afterward, the officers observed “charred marks on the corner of the front door,” which also showed “a small amount of melted plastic at the corner of the door,” officers said.
Prior to the incident, Billups had been recorded on video “leaving a note at Subway threatening to ‘burn this place to the ground,'” and had an active warrant for “terroristic threats” from that incident, according to the complaint.
On Billups’ person, officers said they found “a large box of matches and a can of acetone”; and officers believed the acetone may have been used as the accelerant for the fire.
After Billups was read his Miranda rights, he told officers that he had attempted to burn down the Subway to “get revenge on the manager who had fired him,” according to the complaint.
Billups has been charged with second-degree arson and terroristic threats. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail on $50,000 bond.