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UPDATE: Detroit Man Sentenced in Huntington Apartment Building Fire

By: WSAZ News Staff; Andrew Colegrove Email
By: WSAZ News Staff; Andrew Colegrove Email

UPDATE 10/19/12 @ 3:15 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A Detroit man has been sentenced for setting a fire that damaged two apartment buildings and injured a Huntington firefighter.

Lamar Mallett, 21, pleaded no contest to the charges last month.

Mallett was seen leaving one of the apartments in the 600-block of 13th Street with a TV and then getting into a cab on April 10.

Thursday, Mallett was back in court for sentencing. He was sentenced to 10 years for first-degree arson and 5 years for causing injury during an arson-related crime.

Mallett will serve the sentences consecutively, spending the next 15 years behind bars.



UPDATE 9/7/12
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man form Detroit has pleaded no contest to setting a fire that heavily damaged two apartment buildings and injured a Huntington firefighter.

The fire happened in the 600-block of 13th Street on April 10.

Police said that Lamar Mallett, 21, was seen leaving one of the apartments with a TV and then getting into a cab. A short time later the apartment was observed on fire.

Mallett took the cab to Ashland where he purchased a Greyhound bus ticket. He was arrested a short time later at a motel on Winchester Avenue.

Thursday, Mallett entered no contest pleas to first-degree arson and causing injury during an arson-related crime. Prosecutors are recommending a 15-year sentence

While fighting the fire, Huntington firefighter Ray Canafax suffered burns and a shoulder injury. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

Mallett will be sentenced in October.



UPDATE 4/11/12 @ 3:25 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Police say the man who started a fire that heavily damaged two apartment buildings was seen leaving one of buildings with two TVs right before the fire was reported.

Lamar T. Mallett, 21, of Detroit, was arrested in Ashland, Ky. Tuesday afternoon, several hours after the fire in the 600-block of 13th Street was reported.

Mallett was extradited back to Huntington Wednesday afternoon and arraigned in Cabell County Magistrate Court. Police charged him with first-degree arson and causing injury during an arson-related crime.

Investigators say it appears the fire started in a second-floor apartment at 617 1/2 13th Street in Huntington where Mallet was staying. The blaze quickly spread to an apartment building next door -- causing serious damage to the upper floors.

According to the criminal complaint, Mallet was seen leaving the 617 1/2 address with the TVs and then getting into a cab. Moments later the apartment was observed on fire.

Police say Mallett took the cab to Ashland where he purchased a Greyhound bus ticket. He was arrested a short time later at a motel on Winchester Avenue.

Court documents indicate the fire started in a closet.

While fighting the fire, Huntington firefighter Ray Canafax suffered burns and a shoulder injury. He was treated and released from a local hospital.

Mallett is being held in the Western Regional Jail.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 4/11/12 @ 10:50 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man who police say is responsible for a fire that heavily damaged two apartment buildings in Huntington Tuesday was in court Wednesday morning where he waived extradition.

Lamar T. Mallett, 21, of Huntington, was arrested in Ashland, Ky. Tuesday afternoon, several hours after the fire in the 600-block of 13th Street was reported.

Mallett was arrested on a fugitive from justice warrant. He also faces a charge of first-degree arson. He made his initial appearance in Boyd County District Court Wednesday morning where he waived extradition according to Huntington Police Detective Chris Sperry.

Investigators say it appears the fire started in a second-floor apartment at 617 13th Street in Huntington where the suspect lives. The blaze quickly spread to an apartment building next door causing serious damage to the upper floors.

HPD found out that Mallett was in Ashland, Ky. and APD officers arrested him at a motel on Winchester Avenue.

There is still no word as to why the fire was started.

Mallett is expected to be returned to Huntington Wednesday afternoon.



UPDATE 4/10/12 @ 10 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- As firefighters battled a blaze at a Huntington apartment, detectives were working to catch the person they believe is responsible for the fire.

According to a release from the Huntington Police Department, Lamar T. Mallett, 21, of Huntington, has been charged with first-degree arson and being a fugitive from justice.

The fire appears to have been started in a second-floor apartment at 617 13th Street in Huntington -- where the suspect lives, according to the release. The blaze quickly spread to an apartment building next door causing serious damage to the upper floors.

While firefighters were working to extinguish the fire -- detectives with the Huntington Police Department were working to gather information from witnesses. According to the release, enough information was gathered to obtain a warrant for the arrest of Mallett.

HPD found out that Mallett was in Ashland, Ky. and notified the Ashland Police Department. Officers with APD arrested Mallett at the Ashland Inn Motel on Winchester Ave., according to the release.

There is still no word as to why the fire was started.

A Huntington firefighter was injured while trying to put out the fire. Jan Raider, with the Huntington Fire Department, tells WSAZ.com that the attic stairs fell on the firefighter causing minor burns to his shoulder and hand.

"It's my responsibility to keep these guys safe,” Deputy Chief Ralph Rider said. “When we have lower numbers, it makes that job harder."

No other injuries were reported.

Robin Keesee's family knows something about picking up the pieces. They moved to West Virginia after their home in Mississippi was damaged in Hurricane Katrina.

Robin's son goes to Marshall and lived in the destroyed apartment complex. Now she's trying to reassure him that losing a physical address is not the end of the world.

"That's what I tried to explain to him when he broke down and was really upset about what he lost,” she said. “The most important thing that you can't get back is your life.”

Mallett, originally of Detroit, Mich., is being held in the Boyd County Detention Center.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 4/10/12 @ 1:34 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Firefighters are battling fires in neighboring buildings in the 600-block of 13th Street in Huntington, right across from St. Joe High School.

The fire was reported about 1:15 Tuesday afternoon.

Heavy smoke was coming from a two-story duplex when crews arrived on the scene. One of the two apartments were occupied, but no one was in that apartment when the fire started.

Crews say the fire quickly spread to an upper floor of a neighboring apartment building that contained 5 apartments. That building was evacuated.

We're told one firefighter suffered minor injuries fighting the fire

There are no reported injuries among the residents of the buildings.

Several streets in the area are blocked in the area due to the fire.

We have a crew on the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.


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