Reward offered in Wayne County arson, burglary case

The property owner is offering a $5,000 reward on top of a reward of the same amount being offered by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal.
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:15 PM EST
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WAYNE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Property owners are hoping tips from the public can help lead to the arrest of whoever broke into and burned down their house in Wayne County.

Brian Runyon is offering a $5,000 reward of his own, on top of a $5,000 reward being offered by the West Virginia State Fire Marshal, for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

A statement from the Fire Marshal says the fire occurred before 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 14, and evidence at the scene indicated a breaking and entering occurred to unattached structures at the property as well.

Runyon, along with his wife and a couple of their friends, bought the house on the 3000 block of Twelve Pole Creek Road in Dunlow in July of 2020.

Runyon lives in Vinton County, Ohio, and says he goes to the property in Wayne County every couple weeks. He says he was last there the Sunday before the fire, and none of his property co-owners were there when the fire occurred.

“We have not had a moment’s trouble from anyone or anything at that place until last Friday,” Runyon said.

Runyon, who has family from the Dingess area, says the house did have a security camera system, but none of the video survived the fire.

He says the house was secluded, with no other homes within a mile of it.

Runyon says he has no idea why anyone would start a fire there.

“I just hope they find them so it doesn’t happen again,” Runyon said.

Runyon says they did have insurance on the house, but they’re undecided about whether to rebuild in the same area after this.

“They took something from us we can’t replace,” Runyon said. “We can never replace that little nice house. I would like to catch whoever did this.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the West Virginia Arson Hotline at 800-233-FIRE.

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