Beckley man admits to starting fire outside Charleston apartment - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Beckley man admits to starting fire outside Charleston apartment

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A 29-year-old man has admitted to setting a staircase to a Charleston apartment on fire while an acquaintance and a toddler were inside, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin reports.

Antonio LeJune Wade, a Beckley resident, was named in a one-count federal indictment in October charging him with deliberately setting clothing that he'd placed under a wooden staircase to the Sixth Avenue apartment on fire. The staircase was the only way in and out of the residence.  

Wade, who entered a guilty plea to the federal arson charge Jan. 2, had told police he knew the two were inside the apartment when he set the fire, Goodwin said.

Firefighters and police who responded to the call were able to contain the fire, and neither of the occupants was injured.

Wade faces a mandatory minimum of five years in a federal prison when he is sentenced April 2 by U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver Jr.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Charleston Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Blaire Malkin is handling Wade's prosecution.