A McDowell County volunteer firefighter was arrested for murder and arson Thursday after authorities say he set a blaze that led to the death of a fellow firefighter.
Robert Lee Beckner, 36, of Iaeger, is charged with first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree arson, according to a criminal complaint filed in McDowell County Magistrate Court.
According to the complaint, Beckner confessed to setting fire to his own home in Iaeger.
Beckner was a member of the Iaeger Volunteer Fire Department. Russell Roberson, 42, also a member of the Iaeger department, died as a result of injuries sustained while responding to a second fire in two days at Beckner’s home. The Iaeger fire department first responded to the fire at 908 West Virginia Avenue on the morning of Saturday, June 20, according to court documents filed by Justin England, an investigator with the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office.