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UPDATE: W.Va. Fire Marshal Ups Arson Reward Four Years Since Deadly, Suspicious House Fire


UPDATE 5/14/13 @ 9:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) --- Someone reading this could qualify for $5,000.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's office is upping its arson reward to $5000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of someone suspected of arson.

"It's an effort to align our reward system with surrounding states," Deputy Fire Marshal Eugene R. Cook said. "Someone always knows something, and this money may encourage someone to talk."

One of the highest profile, unsolved arson cases is in Logan County. In January 2009, a deadly fire in Monaville, W.Va., killed five people, including three children. The West Virginia Fire Marshal's office ruled that fire as suspicious, but no one's ever been charged.

"I just spoke with family yesterday," Cook said. "We just want closure. We're using everything we got. We just aren't coming up with the right tips to put it together."

The number of West Virginia's Arson Tip Hotline is (800) 233-3473.



ORIGINAL STORY 1/29/13
LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Tuesday marks four years since a deadly and suspicious fire took the lives of five people -- including three young children.

The only sign that the house once stood is its foundation, but those who drive by it every day will never forget the family that called it home.

The house along Route 44 in Monaville caught fire the morning of Jan. 29, 2009.

Four years later, next-door-neighbor Angel Duncan remembers it like it was yesterday.

“I just fell over,” Duncan said. “I miss them a whole lot. She was a good mommy.”

The bodies of Dewayne Ellis, his girlfriend Melinda Daley and her three children, Kaitlyn, Ryan and Trey, were found together on the first floor.

“Obviously it's going to be tougher with kids involved -- three innocent little children,” West Virginia State Police Trooper Patrick Jones said.

It is making it three times more important to find out what happened. At first, the fire was thought to be an accident. About two weeks later, it was ruled suspicious.

“It's been four years now," Jones said. "We still haven't stopped looking or investigating the actual crime, trying to talk to people and investigate who could have caused this,” Jones said.

Jones says there were actually two fires set in the house: one in the kitchen and one in the living room.

The problem for investigators is that the fire consumed any evidence that would have been left behind.

For four years, they've followed lead after lead -- the last one coming in just a few months ago.

“We looked into it. It ended up being another dead end,” Jones said.

“My mom couldn't sleep for it. She's been having nightmares,” Duncan said.

If whoever is responsible is caught, they will face arson and possibly murder charges.

If you have any information about this case, you're asked to call West Virginia State Police in Logan at (304) 792-7200.


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