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Property owner offers reward in suspicious fire

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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MALDEN, W.Va. (WSAZ) - For a second time, one of the homes on Jim Wilson’s property along Dry Branch Road has burned. This time firefighters say it is suspicious.

“That house caught fire. They investigated and said it was electrical, but we were concerned then that someone may have set it on fire and now after this,” Wilson said.

Malden firefighters believe Tuesday morning’s fire started underneath the home.

When firefighters found out Wilson had just moved the mobile home onto the lot and the electricity was not set up yet, firefighters called on the West Virginia State Fire Marshal to investigate.

“There is no power, no it’s not even hooked up. We just set the service the other day,” Wilson said.

He said he was planning to start looking for a renter in the next few weeks.

“It wasn’t done enough to put insurance on it with the porch that had not been fully finished,” Wilson said.

Dakota Hashey lives next door and said the fire hit too close to home.

“That is one of the first things I thought about was how it could have been any of the other trailers here. I am just glad that is was that one and not one that someone was living in,” Hashey said.

Wilson said he is installing cameras on his property and hoping to find some answers.

“I believe that it was deliberately set on fire, and we are offering a $2,000 cash reward for the conviction or at least an attempt of prosecution of the person that did it,” Wilson said.

Malden firefighters say the mobile home is considered a total loss.

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