MEDIA RELEASE: W.Va. State Fire Marshals make several arson-related arrests


March 29, 2018
W.Va. State Fire Marshals make several arson-related arrests
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – WV State Fire Marshal’s Office announced several arrests Thursday related to multiple arson investigations involving three counties.
Two West Virginia probationary firefighters were arrested March 27 on arson charges. Those charges stem from a series of wildland fires and one structure fire set in Cabell County over the past several months. Two Fairmont residents, meanwhile, were arrested March 28 in connection with several May 2017 fires.
The two firefighters, Allen Paul Black of Salt Rock and Landy Michael Chapman of Ona, are both 19 and were probationary members of two separate Cabell County departments. The fire departments’ names are being withheld, but both firefighters have been terminated by their respective chiefs.
Both individuals were initially charged with one count of setting fire to wildlands, and one count of falsely reporting an emergency. More charges are pending.
The 2018 incidents being investigated are:
• A wildland fire in the 400 block of Chapman Road, Salt Rock on January 26;
• A false 911 call reporting a wildland fire on River Road, Salt Rock on February 4;
• A wildland fire at Upper Toms Creek and Fudges Creek Road, Ona on March 5;
• A wildland fire at 5500 block of McComas Road, Salt Rock on March 5;
• A structure fire in the 300 block of Fudges Creek Road, Ona on February 6;
Both men were arrested in Cabell County by State Fire Marshal’s investigators and members of the W.Va. Division of Forestry. Black and Chapman admitted to investigators their involvements in two of the crimes. The investigations were led by SFM Investigator T. Chastain and DOF Investigator J. Bird.

In the other case, investigators in Marion County arrested Julie Slate, 38, and Dennis Boyce, 46, on felony first-degree arson, burglary and conspiracy to commit arson charges.
The two Fairmont residents are accused of setting three separate fires in May 2017 at the home of an individual who was in a nursing home at the time of the fires.
Following their March 28 arrests, Slate posted a $30,000 bond while Boyce remains at the North Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $250,000 cash or surety bond.
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