MABIE, W.Va. (WBOY) — A Randolph County man has been charged after allegedly setting his home on fire because he was “upset with the puppy for defecating all over the house.”
On Oct. 7, the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office received an email about a fire that had occurred at a residence on Ryan Run Road in Mabie, according to a criminal complaint.
During the initial 911 dispatch, crews on the scene were told by the home’s owner, Randy Nethken, 32, of Mabie, that the fire “originated in the attic,” the complaint states.
After receiving the email, fire marshals arrived at the scene of the home that caught fire, and began an investigation, observing “what appeared to be burned drawers” … “toward the rear of the involved structure,” fire marshals stated.
Fire marshals were able to determine that “there were multiple separate and distinct non-communicating fires involving the drawers” which “appeared to extend from the contents up the interior sides of each of the drawers,” according to the complaint.
A further examination showed that “one of the drawers had remaining burn patterns on the exterior side and back that did not line up with the other drawer” and indicated that “these patterns were generated from another heat source,” fire marshals said.
Continued examination of the house showed that there were “at least three additional separate and distinct non-communicating fires in the bathroom vanity” … “where some female hygiene products were ignited,” according to the complaint.
When fire marshals entered the attic where Nethken claimed the fire originated, they “observed three more separate and distinct non-communicating fires” … “just left of the scuttle entrance,” fire marshals stated.
Due to the fire marshals’ findings, Nethken was interviewed once more, and when “confronted with the remaining evidence,” Nethken stated that he “intentionally entered the attic willfully and intentionally utilized a match to set three fires,” according to the complaint.
Also during the interview, Nethken told fire marshals “that he set the fires in the bathroom because he was upset with the puppy for defecating all over the house” and that he had set up a GoFundMe page “to help pay for the damage because they didn’t really have a lot of money,” fire marshals said.
Nethken has been charged with arson. He is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $20,000 bond.