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A volunteer firefighter in McDowell County, West Virginia is charged with murder and arson in the fire that killed fellow firefighter Russ Roberson. Thirty-six year-old Robert Beckner was arrested Thursday for setting fire to his own home. Investigators say Beckner confessed. Two fires were apparently set in Beckner’s home. One was on Saturday and the second on Sunday. Roberson died during the Sunday fire.
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.
England interviewed Beckner on Thursday, and he confessed to setting his Iaeger residence on fire, according the the complaint.
“Robert Beckner further confessed that he set the residence on fire by igniting a piece of notebook paper and spreading lighter fluid throughout the residence to accelerate the fire,” England stated in the criminal complaint.