Suspected arsonist pleads guilty - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Suspected arsonist pleads guilty

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HINTON -
A Summers County man suspected of arson is one step closer to knowing his fate.
Billy Jo Gill pleaded guilty to arson in the first degree and attempted malicious assault in connection with a house fire on Fifth Avenue in Hinton.
The house belonged to one of Gill's relatives, who were in the home at the time.
The fire happened the same night the Brick Row Apartments on Temple Street burned to the ground.
Gill was originally charged with arson for that fire as well... but that charge was dropped.
Gill will be back in court in August for sentencing.

It's been 5 months since the entire block of apartments burned down and the area is still filled with ash and rubble. 59 News wanted to know why isn't this dangerous mess being cleaned up? People in Hinton said they're tired of having the burned apartments as the view from their front porch.

"I'll be glad when it's gone, it really is a detriment to the community," said neighbor Russell Fitzwater.

"It needs to be torn down, that's my opinion, it really is a real bad eyesore," said Hinton resident William Angel.

They also say they're concerned about the dangers to young children. "These little girls were playing on the porch... They're going to get hurt. One of the bricks up there could fall," said Angel.

"When it rains there is an odor that comes from it, and I'm sure there's some children that want to get in there too," said Fitzwater. We're told the hold-up is that three different people own the apartments and demolition cant start until they all come to an agreement. Another issue they're dealing with is paperwork over asbestos removal. City government tells us they're doing all they can to push the process along.