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Fort Ashby Fire: UPDATE

March 16th, 2016 by WCBC Radio

A Fort Ashby man was arrested Wednesday afternoon, charged with setting the early morning fire that destroyed a Mineral County church hours earlier.

The Cumberland Times News reports the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office announced the arrest of Caleb Lusk on its Facebook page. He was charged with first-degree arson.

It was 4:15 a.m. when the Mineral County 911 Emergency Center received two calls from individuals who reportedly observed fire coming through the roof of the Berean Independent Baptist Church in Fort Ashby. The property is located on Dan's Run Road, about a mile from the intersections of Routes 28 and 46.

"When I got there I could see it was going to be a total loss. The roof was collapsed. It's devastating. It broke my heart," said Pastor Richard Riley, who resides in Mount Savage and traveled 35 minutes to the scene after a phone call from a church member informed him of the tragedy.

State fire investigators began their investigation late Wednesday morning.

One volunteer firefighter reportedly suffered a minor injury during the fire operation.

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