McDowell County firefighter dies in Sunday blaze

IAEGER, W.Va. — A member of a McDowell County volunteer fire department died Sunday after trying to stop someone from going back into a burning home.

According to authorities, the firefighter — identified Iaeger Volunteer Fire Department member Russ Roberson — suffered apparent smoke inhalation. He got sick and died on the way to a hospital.

Roberson, 42, and other firefighters responded to the house fire on West Virginia Avenue in Iaeger at about 2:45 a.m. on Sunday. Authorities said the structure was full of flames.

Roberson had been with the department for several years. An autopsy will be performed.

Gov. Jim Justice and state Adjutant General James Hoyer sent their condolences to Roberson’s family during Monday’s coronavirus briefing.

“The family’s having a tough time,” Justice said. “And really and truly, we ask so much that you pause and have prayer for this wonderful, wonderful man. A hero that we just lost.”

The state Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to investigate the cause of the blaze.

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