|Fayetteville, WV – A West Virginia man has been charged with murder after a forestry worker was killed trying to extinguish a fire the man is accused of setting.|
The fire was reported on Tuesday night in the Tucker Hollow area of Fayette County. Overnight, the fire grew to consume several hundred acres. On Thursday, forester 28 year old Cody Mullens was fatally injured by a falling tree while fighting the fire.
The Division of Forestry was able to determine that the fire was intentionally set, Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley. The arson investigation led to the arrest of David A. Bass, of Kimberly.
In addition to the murder charge, Bass is charged with four counts of felony wildland arson. On Saturday, Bass was being held at the Southern Regional Jail. Jail records do not list an attorney for Bass.
Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement Thursday after learning of the death of a state forester in Fayette County.
A state forester employed by the West Virginia Division of Forestry was fatally injured Thursday while fighting a forest fire in Fayette County.
Cody J. Mullens, 28, of Mt. Hope, Fayette County, was fatally injured by a falling tree while fighting a fire near Montgomery.
“Cathy and I are heartbroken by the tragic news of losing one of our own,” Gov. Justice said. “Our state foresters are some of the most dedicated workers in our state, putting their lives on the line to protect our communities from wildfires, and we owe them all, especially Cody, an enormous debt of gratitude. “Losing a brave forester is a tragedy beyond belief. Cathy and I will keep this man and his loved ones in our prayers and ask all West Virginians to join with us.”