FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — According to a criminal complaint, the man who started the fire that killed a West Virginia Division of Forestry worker set four separate fires that became the forest fire.
The complaint for 39-year-old David Bass, of Kimberly, says dispatchers were alerted to a brush fire in the Tucker Hollow area in Kimberly on April 11.
The Armstrong Creek Volunteer Fire Department and the West Virginia Division of Forestry were dispatched. They were unable to stop the fire because it had grown very large, according to the complaint.
On April 13, 28-year-old Cody Mullens, of Mt. Hope, was killed while battling the forest fire that started two days earlier.
On April 14, investigators say they found four separate points where the fire had started. After investigations, they say witnesses told them that, they saw Bass set a couch on fire earlier in the week, but it had gone out. After the first fire, Bass was seen on Tucker Hollow Road while the entire hillside was on fire.
The criminal complaint says Bass was found on U.S. Route 61 on April 14. Bass was asked to ride with law enforcement to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department without being arrested.
After being read his Miranda Rights, Bass provided a statement to law enforcement saying he had set two fires that jumped to two or three different places, the complaint says.
Bass is being charged with four counts of arson of wildland fires and one count of murder. He is being held in the Southern Regional Jail.
Bass is scheduled to be in court on April 24 at 9 a.m. in Fayette Municipal Court.