UPDATE: Two Charged in Apartment Building Arson; Suspect Speaks Out

By: Jeremy Edwards,Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jeremy Edwards,Jennifer Rizzi Email

UPDATE 10/9/13 @ 9:38 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man accused of helping burn down an apartment building is speaking out about his arrest.

Police say Douglas Williams and Thomas Leon Johnson set fire to the Cornerstone Apartments in Chesapeake, W.Va., two weeks ago. They were arrested Wednesday.

Williams tells WSAZ.com he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"I got blamed for it," he said. "Because I was in the vicinity when it happened."

Police say Williams and Johnson were both inside the empty complex when it went up in flames.

When officers questioned them, they say both men tried to blame each other for starting it.

"It was the worst fire we've had in Chesapeake in a long time," Police Chief Jack Ice said.

Police say right after they started the fire, Johnson and WIlliams went to the Foodland store along MacCorkle Avenue. They were caught on camera stealing tiki fuel.

Williams told our cameras since it happened after the fire, the crime wasn't important.

"It wouldn't do much good to buy Tiki fuel after the fire," he said.

Police had a different view.

"You could speculate what they were going to do with the Tiki fuel, but we recovered the fuel of Johnson's apartment," Ice said.

Police say that's where the pair sat and watched the building burn without notifying anyone.

The apartment complex had been vacant since April when another fire destroyed its electrical system.

Johnson and Williams have not been charged in connection with that first fire in April, but police are calling them persons of interest.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 10/9/13 @ 11:25 a.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two people have been charged in connection with an arson investigation in Kanawha County.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office tells WSAZ.com Thomas Johnson and Douglas Williams II are accused of setting a fire on September 24 at an apartment building along MacCorkle Avenue in Chesapeake. The building was vacant at the time of the fire.

It took firefighters hours to put out the fire.

Both Johnson and Williams have been charged with first degree arson.

This apartment was shut down after furniture was set on fire outside of the building back in April. That fire destroyed the electric box outside causing the building to lose power. That's when the building was evacuated and never reopened. This fire was also ruled arson. Investigators say Johnson and Williams are persons of interest in this case, but no charges have been filed.

No other details are being released at this time.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/25/13 @ 6:47 a.m.
CHESAPEAKE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The cause of a fire at a vacant apartment building in Chesapeake, W.Va. is under investigation.

It started Tuesday about 3:15 p.m. along MacCorkle Avenue.

No injuries were reported.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/24/13 @ 6:35 p.m.
CHESAPEAKE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A major fire continues to burn in Chesapeake, W.Va.

It broke out about 3:15 p.m. Tuesday along MacCorkle Avenue, just across the street from Foodland.

Firefighters tell WSAZ.com, the fire has destroyed a vacant apartment building.

No one was hurt.

There is no word on what started this fire.

We are learning more about why the building is vacant.

It was shut down after furniture was set on fire outside of the building back in April.

The fire destroyed the electric box outside causing the building to lose power.

It evacuated and never reopened.

That fire was ruled arson, but no arrests were ever made.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 9/24/13 @ 3:15 p.m.
CHESAPEAKE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Firefighters are battling a large fire at a vacant apartment building in Chesapeake, West Virginia.

It broke out about 3:15 p.m. on MacCorkle Avenue across the street from the Foodland.

No one has been hurt.

There is no word on what started the fire.


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