Matoaka PD

Brandon Coomes

UPDATE: Matoaka police have made an arrest connected to the fire that destroyed a number of buildings in the town Friday.

Brandon Coomes, of Matoaka, was arrested on Friday evening. He’s charged with third-degree arson and entering without breaking. He was arraigned Saturday morning and is lodged in the Southern Regional Jail.

MATOAKA, W.Va. — Parts of at least five buildings in a Mercer County town were in ashes Friday night following a fire that shut down Route 10 in Matoaka for much of the day.

Officials said the blaze started around 11 a.m. on the top floor of a Barger Street apartment building that formerly was a hotel.

Firefighters from throughout Mercer Raleigh and Summers counties worked to contain the flames into Friday night.

Several people were arrested there for obstruction and drug-related charges.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

No injuries were reported.

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  • Tim C

    I live in Mercer County and I can tell you this. People have gotten downright mean in that part of the county. I really feel for the good people who still live there. They shouldn't have to put up with this. These punks don't need a reason to destroy something. They do it for the hell of it.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    Why only 3rd degree ? I think if you burn a couch in Morgantown after a win and get caught they charge you with 3rd degree . This ain't no couch burning .

  • The Answer

    YEESH, I'll bet there was a instrument of death involved, also..

  • Derek

    I grew up there the mines left people left. Sad situation but it's life in rural WV. I remember the town was booming in the 70s 80s sad time.

  • Scourge

    Do ya really think drugs might have been involved?

    "Several people were arrested there for obstruction and drug-related charges"

    Ya think?

    • mazie

      when the true comes out it will be drugs!and and not caring about no one but self and getting mad at someone is no reason for this...give him the books and get him help!!

  • Dumb Liberals

    Only 3rd Degree Arson?

    §61-3-3. Burning personal property of another of the value of five hundred dollars or more; third degree arson; penalty. Any person who willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns, or who causes to be burned, or who aids, counsels, procures, persuades, incites, entices or solicits any person to burn, any personal property of any class or character, of the value of not less than five hundred dollars, and the property of another person, shall be guilty of arson in the third degree and, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to the penitentiary for a definite term of imprisonment which is not less than one nor more than three years. A person imprisoned pursuant to this section is not eligible for parole prior to having served a minimum of one year of his or her sentence.

    Oh there is way more to this story than is out there right now. More suspects & arrests forthcoming maybe?

  • Mario

    There were firefighters from Wyoming county too!

  • William

    Perhaps a meth lab?

    • Amanda

      no it was supposedly started in an empty room

    • ViennaGuy

      That's what I was wondering ... were drugs involved?

  • Wvredhead

    Can't imagine what caused the fire...just wow.