The difficulties of solving arson investigations - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

The difficulties of solving arson investigations

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  • Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Woman suffers minor injuries after car rolls on I-77 in Raleigh County

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:13 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:13:55 GMT
    Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.Car rolled multiple times on I-77 North in Raleigh County.
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
    In Raleigh County, a woman is miraculously not seriously injured, after her car rolls over on I-77 around 6:30 Wednesday night.An eyewitness tells us the woman was driving in the left lane on the northbound side. She suddenly veered off the road, over corrected,then slammed into the side of a tractor trailer. The car rolled multiple times before coming to a stop on it's roof.The witness says two small dogs ran out of the car. Moments later, the woman crawled out and ran after one of the dogs....
  • EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Woman struck by car on Robert C. Byrd Drive

    Friday, August 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-08-01 23:54:05 GMT
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
    A woman was struck by a car in front of Family Coin Laundry on Robert C. Byrd Drive in Beckley Thursday night.This is surveillance video given to us by the business owners. She was not walking on a designated crosswalk. So who is at fault?
  • Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Alpha Natural Resources may idle eight mines in the state of West Virginia

    Friday, August 1 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-08-01 19:58:48 GMT
    Alpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 minersAlpha Natural Resources might lay off over 1,000 miners
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...
    Just days after coal miners rally in Pittsburgh over new rules on EPA emissions another problem arises for the coal industry.Alpha Natural Resources says because of a weak market and government regulations mine sites might have to be shut down.Eight Alpha affiliated surface mines in West Virginia are expected to be shutdown by mid October. Three of the eight mines are right here in Southern West Virginia.One of the mines that could be idled is the Pioneer Fuel's Ewing Fork number 1 Surface Mi...

59 News is learning more details about an arson in our area that left about 30 people homeless.  59 News was first on the scene when the historic "Brick Row" apartments in Hinton, Summers County went up in flames in late February.  Investigators are revealing more information.

Investigators say a confrontation between Billy Joe Gill and someone who lives in one of the apartments at the "Brick Row" may have sparked the fire.  Hinton Police officials also say Gill set a family member's home on Fifth Avenue in Hinton on fire, just before setting the "Brick Row" on fire.

59 News is told the state fire marshal's office says they were called 765 times to investigate arsons last year.  In every case of arson, only 1 in 5 will be solved.

Investigators say they are stretched thin.  With the 11 investigators covering 55 counties in the state, they say it can take three days to arrive to a scene.  The state's budget is also stretched thin, so new investigators for the fire marshal's office will likely be on hold, according to fire marshal's.

By state code, if local fire investigators can not determine the origin and cause of a fire, the state fire marshal's office must be called.  State investigators get the call if someone dies, like the fatal fire in Leslie Bottom, Greenbrier County in late April.

If there's major injury or major economic loss of more than $500,000 dollars, state investigators will also be called to the scene.

People in Hinton are hoping the "Brick Row" will be torn down.  59 News has learned it is up to the owner to start the demolition process with these apartments, reduced to rubble.