WSAZ | West Virginia | News

NEW INFO: Man Sentenced in Huntington Apartment Building Arson

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 10/31/12 @ 10:30 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It will be 12 years in prison for the man who set a fire that left up to 18 people homeless back in February.

The fire destroyed an apartment building in the 800-block of 9th Street West in Huntington.

In August, Quinton Kennie, 24, of Huntington, entered a Kennedy plea to the crime.

The criminal complaint indicated that Kennie was at the apartment building prior to the fire and then after it started made comments he had burnt down the apartment building.

The 12 year sentence is four more years than the state recommended sentence of eight years.

During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge Paul Farrell also ordered Kennie pay $160,000 in restitution to the insurance company, and banned Kennie from Cabell County once he gets out of prison.

Before being sentenced, Kennie asked to withdraw his Kennedy pea, but the request was denied.

In a Kennedy plea the defendant accepts the punishment but does not admit to the crime.



UPDATE 8/1/12 @ 10:15 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man charged in connection with a fire that left up to 18 people homeless has entered a Kennedy plea to 1st degree arson.

The fire destroyed the apartment building in the 800-block of 9th Street West back on February 2.

Huntington Police charged Quinton Kennie, 24, of Huntington with setting that fire.

The criminal complaint indicated that Kennie was at the apartment building prior to the fire and then after it started made comments he had burnt down the apartment building.

Wednesday, Kennie entered the plea during a hearing in Cabell County Circuit Court.

He faces to 2-11 years in prison when he is sentenced on October 11.

In a Kennedy plea the defendant accepts the punishment but does not admit to the crime.



UPDATE 2/24/12 @ 9:50 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man already in jail on a drug charge, is now charged in connection with a fire that left up to 18 homeless.

The fire destroyed an apartment building in the 800-block of 9th Street West back on February 2.

Thursday, Huntington Police charged Quinton Kennie, 24, with first-degree arson.

According to the criminal complaint, Keenie was at the apartment building prior to the fire, and then after the fire started made comments he had burnt down the apartment building.

Police originally arrested Kennie last Friday following a raid at his residence in the 1000-block of West 5th Ave.

Kennie was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Officers say they found cocaine base, a large amount of cash and drug use contraband.

He was one of seven people arrested during a drug sweep that day.

Kennie is in the Western Regional Jail.

His preliminary hearing on the arson charge is set for Monday in Cabell County Magistrate Court.

Demolition crews tore down the apartment building on Thursday.



UPDATE 2/3/12 @ 2:45 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Demolition crews are bringing down what’s left of a apartment building destroyed by fire earlier this month.

Some 18 people lived in the building located in the 800-block of 9th Street West in Huntington. The fire broke out just before midnight on February 2.

The State Fire Marshal ruled the blaze arson.

The City of Huntington took steps to have the building demolished.

The owner of the building tells WSAZ.com he hopes to put some type of housing back on the site.



UPDATE 2/8/12 @ 8:45 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- There’s a one-woman cleanup crew on a mission to restore joy and belongings to victims of an arson-related apartment building fire in West Huntington.

Brenda White arrived at the scene Friday -- less than 24 hours after the fire to offer her help. She found the needs there are so overwhelming that even she and all of her resources can't meet them all. Now, she’s asking for help.

For the last five days, she has helped collect donations to those who narrowly escaped with their lives from the raging fire.

About 20 men, women and children lived in the low income housing building located along 9th Street West between Madison and Monroe avenues.

Now, many of them are struggling to find enough resources to get back on their feet.

One victim said, “My boy broke down and said, "Mommy! All I have left is the clothes on my back!' "

This woman has four children. All of them had to be rescued from the fire. While she's thankful for life, now she's trying to figure out how they're going to continue the life in even the most basic sense.

White said she is troubled by the extent of the need.

“The babies have nothing to lay on," she said. "I can’t stand to know that little children don’t have any place to lay their head at night."

White has taken victims to various missions around the region in search of help. She's made calls on their behalf. She's collected things and taken them to them, as well as checking in on the folks everyday.

“Are you feeling overwhelmed?” WSAZ.com's Carrie Cline asked.

“Yeah, because I don't want to see no child not have a bed to sleep in,” White said.

So, reluctantly, broken and spent, she's asking for help.

“I hope people can open their heart and find it in there to give what they can,” White said.



UPDATE 2/3/12 @ 11:10 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than a dozen people are still recovering from an arson-related apartment fire in West Huntington.

With tragedy comes relief. Brenda White, a Chesapeake, Ohio, native, heard about the fire and decided she wanted to help. White gathered clothes and toys from people who were willing to donate and brought them to victims who are now homeless. She says helping out people is how she finds her happiness.

"I drove by last night and saw how brokenhearted they all were and knew I had to do something," White said. "As a Christian, this is what God would want me to do."

The apartment building is located at 9th Street West between Madison Avenue and Monroe Avenue, and the fire happened shortly before 11:30 p.m. Thursday. Late Friday night, the State Fire Marshal's Office told WSAZ.com the fire has been ruled arson.

Tony Barker, a fire victim, received a few shirts and pants from White's donation. He says her act of kindness is a blessing.

"I thank God for somebody like her coming out and doing something like this," Barker said. "It means a lot."

Many fire victims are staying in a local hotel, thanks to the Salvation Army.



UPDATE 2/3/12 @ 10:40 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The apartment building fire that left more than a dozen families homeless has been ruled arson.

That information came late Friday night from the State Fire Marshal's Office.

The fire started before midnight Thursday and was so intense that residents barely managed to make it out safely. It gutted the building -- located in the 800 block of 9th Street West.

No one was hurt.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 2/3/12 @ 8:30 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- More than a dozen people continue to recover after an apartment fire burned them out of their home in West Huntington.

The fire started shortly before midnight as many folks in the building were settling in for the night. In an instant, though, flames erupted -- creating mass chaos.

"I just heard people out here screaming," Samantha Frazier said.

Residents in the apartment building in the 800 block of 9th Street West in had just minutes to escape the raging flames.

Resident Rose Mays said, "We barely got out. Had it been a little later, we wouldn't have got out."

Fellow resident Jerry Jolley said, "I was upstairs, and the old lady came up and woke me up and said the apartment was on fire, and I came out and saw the end apartment in flames."

Tony Barker, another resident, said a neighbor advised him to get out after kicking his door in.

"And we bailed out," Barker said.

Truly, it was a fight for survival. The screams and shouts started shortly before midnight Thursday.

In the midst of the smoky darkness, resident Robert Poe emerged a hero. For those who couldn't get themselves out, he was there.

"I mean we barely had enough time to get them down the steps before the steps started burning," Poe said. "I could hear kids crying and all I could think was going in there and getting those kids out. I just grabbed two kids and went back and got two more kids and a woman."

In the end, more than a dozen people escaped. They lost everything they owned, but they're alive. Still, they're haunted by the memories.

"It's going to hurt for quite a while," Poe said.

Then, in the calm of the morning after, more sirens and alarms rang out.

"We had a rekindle, which we knew we would because we had a partial collapse last night," Huntington Fire Capt. Jan Rader said.

Firefighters navigated the severely weakened building, climbing to the top to extinguish the small flames.

While the building soon will be gone, those left homeless struggle to figure out the next step.

"I ain't got no place to go, really," Jerry Jolley said.

State Fire Marshal investigators spent Friday at the scene looking for the cause of the fire. They're considering the possibility of foul play.

The Huntington city engineer says as soon as the investigation is complete, the building will be demolished -- hopefully in the next day or two.



UPDATE 2/3/12 @ 1:15 p.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va., (WSAZ ) -- Investigators continue to sift through the rubble of an apartment building fire that left up to 18 people homeless.

Huntington firefighters were called to the six-unit, three-story building on 9th St. West between Madison Ave. and Monroe Ave. shortly before 11:30 Thursday night.

The State Fire Marshal has been at the fire scene much of Friday. He tells WSAZ.com the fire remains under investigation and the cause is undetermined at this time. He says foul play has not been ruled out. Residents of the apartments are being interviewed as part of the investigation.

Huntington fire officials believe the fire started in a first floor apartment.

Crews worked to keep the fire from spreading to a home behind the apartment building.

Investigators say the building needs to be demolished as soon as possible.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.



UPDATE 2/3/2012 @ 7:20 a.m.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va., (WSAZ) -- A dozen people are homeless following a fire at an apartment building in Huntington's West End.

Firefighters were called to the six-unit, three-story building on 9th St. West between Madison Ave. and Monroe Ave. shortly before 11:30 Thursday night.

The landlord of the apartment building tells WSAZ.com all the residents made it out safely, saying he personally saw each resident outside the building.

Firefighters finally cleared the scene about 5:30 Friday morning.

No word how the fire started. The State Fire Marshal has been called to the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for updated information.



UPDATE: 2/3/2012 @ 12:35 A.M.
HUNTINGTON, W.V.a. (WSAZ) -- The landlord of an apartment building that is on fire in Huntington tells WSAZ.com all the residents are out.

The six unit, three story building caught on fire just before 11:30 Thursday night.

The landlord says he has personally seen or spoken with every resident.

Firefighters say the fire is still active and they are concerned about it spreading to nearby homes.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY: 2/2/2012 @ 11:35 P.M.
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Huntington fire crews are on the scene of a fully involved fire at an apartment building.

The apartment building is located in the 800 block of W. 9th Street.

Firefighters say they've been told everyone is out of the building.

There is heavy smoke in the area.

We have a crew on the scene.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 138621169 - wsaz.com/a?a=138621169