UPDATE: Man Charged with Setting Fire at Charleston Hotel

UPDATE 12/7/12 @ 6 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Fire Capt. Fred Dunbar is used to being in dangerous situations. But being attacked inside a room where a fire was burning just minutes before is not one of them.

“It was smoky and dark in the room,” Dunbar said. “You know, we didn't see any weapons.”

Dunbar and his men were trying to make their way into Michael Dewayne Carter's room at the Best Western in Charleston when Carter attacked them.

“So he's trying to fight you guys, and you're trying to save him?” WSAZ.com's Lauren Schmoll asked Dunbar.

“Yeah ... pretty much,” Dunbar said.

Earlier Saturday morning, firefighters say Carter set fire to sheets and towels in the room, then shoved a mattress and furniture up against the door while he was still inside. When firefighters tried to get in, Carter came at them.

“We were just trying to make sure that he was OK and that there was no one else in the room with him,” Dunbar said.

At that point, no one else in the hotel was in danger. The sprinkler system put the fire out, and some guests left the building.

“They got here very, very quick and we all left the building, like I said before and it seems like they managed things the proper way,” hotel guest Fernando Cruz said.

After the attack, firefighters managed to subdue Carter with the help of police. He was arrested on charges of arson and hindering firefighters.

At his arraignment Friday afternoon, Carter wouldn't stay quiet. After several outbursts, he was removed from the courtroom and taken to jail for a video arraignment Saturday. Firefighters weren't surprised.

“We knew we were dealing with somebody that wasn't stable,” Dunbar said.

The magistrate Carter was brought before actually recognized him because he'd been in her courtroom so many times before.

His criminal history includes multiple public intoxication charges, multiple domestic battery convictions, multiple violations of protection orders and charges of harassing and stalking.



UPDATE 12/7/12 @ 1:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A fire set at a Charleston hotel is out and now a man is facing charges.

Michael Dewayne Carter, 43, is charged with arson and hindering firefighters, after police say he set fire to his hotel room at the Best Western in Charleston Friday morning.

When firefighters tried to enter Carter's hotel room, a mattress was blocking the entrance. Firefighters moved the mattress and made their way into the hotel room. At that time, police say Carter came at the firefighters in an aggressive manner. He then got into a fight with one of the firefighters. Three firefighters eventually tackled Carter to the ground.

Carter is being held without bond, pending arraignment Saturday morning.

Magistrate Julie Yeager tried to arraign Carter Friday afternoon, but after multiple outbursts, he was removed from the court room.

Carter has a long criminal history in Kanawha County.

The hotel is still open to guests. No word on any damage at the hotel.

The Charleston Fire Department is still investigating the incident.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 12/7/12 @ 10 a.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man has been arrested after police say he set something on fire inside a Charleston hotel room.

The fire was reported just after 9 a.m. at the Best Western Charleston Plaza Hotel at 1010 Washington Street east.

Charleston Police tell WSAZ.com the man stayed the night at the hotel and for an unknown reason set something on fire and then barricaded himself in the room. The hotel sprinkler system put out the fire before firefighters got on scene.

Police say the man was arrested. No word on what charges he will face.

The hotel is still open to guests. No word on any damage at the hotel.

The Charleston Fire Department is still investigating the incident.

We have a crew at the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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