MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- The West Virginia Fire Marshal's Office is offering a reward for information that could help stop a string of arsons.
Assistant State Fire Marshal Mackey Ayersman says several unoccupied homes and mobile homes in the Maidsville area of Monongalia County have been stripped of copper, aluminum, steel and other metals over the past few months, then deliberately burned.
He says the problem seems to be growing worse as the price of the metals involved rises.
Ayersman said Wednesday that setting fire to a structure is a felony, even if it's vacant and even if the owner does it. He's asking the public to phone tips into the Arson Hotline (800-233-FIRE).
Any information that leads to the arrest of those responsible would be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500.