West Virginia Firefighter Arrested for Setting Blaze That Critically Injured Comrade

BERKELEY COUNTY, W.Va. -- Police have arrested a volunteer firefighter for setting a blaze that critically injured one of his colleagues.

Police say when James Blackford was at the Bedington Fire Station Tuesday night, he left the building went about 100 yards away to the abandoned barn, set the fire, then came back to the fire station as if nothing had happened.

Police say Blackford admitted his part in the fire.

Blackford was one of two firefighters injured when the barn's roof collapsed.

Kenneth Ayers, 45, was injured when the barn's roof collapsed. He broke numerous bones in his face, and suffered burns to his airways. He remains in the hospital.

Police say they do not think Blackford acted alone.

Berkeley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster said, "We have another person of interest we're trying to locate and review and if we give you every thing we know of that person, that person may know it too."

Police have not tied this case to the string of other suspicious fires in the county over the past month.

Republished with permission of WHAG-TV.

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