W.Va. Firefighter Sentenced to 35 Years for Arson

A former West Virginia firefighter was sent to prison for 35 years Monday for setting a barn fire that seriously injured another volunteer.

James L. Blackford III, 31, was sentenced to 20 years for first-degree arson and 15 years for causing serious injury during an arson, according to The Herald Mail.

Kenneth Ayers, who was injured when a wall of the barn collapsed, told Blackford that he had to suffer the consequences.

Ayers is a member of Baker Heights Volunteer Fire Department.

Blackford, a former member of Bedington Vol. Fire Dept., told Ayers he was "truly sorry for his injuries," the newspaper reported.

In addition to the time behind bars, Blackford was ordered to pay for Ayers' medical expenses as well as restitution to the owner of the historic barn.

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