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Man shouts 'Let it burn' as firefighters arrive

By From staff reports

ANSTED, W.Va. -- Authorities say a Fayette County man was visibly drunk as he stood in the road in front of his burning home in Victor trying to prevent firefighters from putting out the blaze.

Firefighters from Nuttall and Ansted were sent early Wednesday evening to a home on Saturday Road in Victor where a house was on fire. When they arrived they found Ralph Bostick, 50, standing in the middle of the road trying to keep firefighters from reaching his home, according to a statement issued by the Fayette Sheriff's Office.

He told the firefighters to "Let it burn," the statement said.

Bostick was trying to walk away from the scene when deputies arrived. Deputies said in the statement he was visibly intoxicated.

A preliminary investigation showed that Appalachian Power disconnected service to the home but that someone bypassed the disconnection and reconnected the electrical service to the house.

The cause of the fire had not yet been determined as of Thursday afternoon, but the investigation so far indicated the possibility the fire was intentionally set. The investigation into the cause and origin of the fire remains under investigation.

"It is a felony for anyone to hinder or obstruct a firefighter during an emergency situation," Sheriff Steve Kessler said in a statement. "Firefighters at the scene stated that Mr. Bostick attempted to stop them from responding to this fire and attempted to prevent them from extinguishing this fire."

Bostick was arrested at the scene and charged with two counts of obstructing a firefighter, defrauding a public utility and public intoxication. He is being held at Southern Regional Jail on $10,000 bond.

Cpl. J.R. McMullen and Detective W.K. Willis are investigating.

Anyone with information can contact them at 304-574-4216 or Crime Stoppers at 304-255-7867. Tips also can be submitted online at the sheriff's website at fayettesheriffwv.net or on the sheriff's Facebook page under "Fayette County Sheriff's Department." Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at ashley.craig@dailymail.com or 304-348-4850.


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