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

The difficulties of solving arson investigations

Posted: Updated:
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Deadly shooting at a large party in Beckley

    Man dies after a Shooting during a Party outside of Beckley, Now the Search is On for the Suspect

    Man dies after a Shooting during a Party outside of Beckley, Now the Search is On for the Suspect

    Sunday, September 14 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-09-14 19:10:52 GMT
    The Raleigh County Sheriff's office responded to a shooting at a party just outside of Beckley early Sunday morning. As a result of these gunshots, Roland Howard Frazier, 23, was hit and later died.
    The Raleigh County Sheriff's office responded to a shooting at a party just outside of Beckley early Sunday morning. As a result of these gunshots, Roland Howard Frazier, 23, was hit and later died.
  • UPDATE: Beckley Police catch suspects involved in shooting on Summers Street

    UPDATE: Beckley Police catch suspects involved in shooting on Summers Street

    Sunday, September 14 2014 2:48 PM EDT2014-09-14 18:48:51 GMT
    After 19 year-old Tyrell Smith was shot twice on his hip and wrist, the suspects have been found. Detective Bragg with the Beckley Police Department said they quickly got tips as to where the suspects were. Once they found the vehicle near Antonio street, there was a short pursuit, then police caught the suspects.
    After 19 year-old Tyrell Smith was shot twice on his hip and wrist, the suspects have been found. Detective Bragg with the Beckley Police Department said they quickly got tips as to where the suspects were. Once they found the vehicle near Antonio street, there was a short pursuit, then police caught the suspects.
  • A Tazewell County Mother Says Eric Smith Will Not Be Forgotten 10 Months After His Disappearance

    A Tazewell County Mother Says Eric Smith Will Not Be Forgotten 10 Months After His Disappearance

    Saturday, September 13 2014 8:51 PM EDT2014-09-14 00:51:17 GMT
    It's been ten months since a man was reported missing in TazewellCounty.Police said Eric Smith, a General Mine Foreman at Buchanan Mine No. 1 in Buchanan County,Virginia,was reported missing onNovember 8, 2013after he failed to return home from a hunting trip.Eric Smith's mother, Dreama Smith, said she will never let Eric be forgotten.Dreama said, "We pray everyday that something will open."Cedar Bluff Police Chief, David Mills, said they are constantly checking leads.Mills said, "Everyday so...
    It's been ten months since a man was reported missing in TazewellCounty.Police said Eric Smith, a General Mine Foreman at Buchanan Mine No. 1 in Buchanan County,Virginia,was reported missing onNovember 8, 2013after he failed to return home from a hunting trip.Eric Smith's mother, Dreama Smith, said she will never let Eric be forgotten.Dreama said, "We pray everyday that something will open."Cedar Bluff Police Chief, David Mills, said they are constantly checking leads.Mills said, "Everyday so...

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.