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Man arrested on murder and arson charges in connection to firefighter’s death

Mug for Robert Beckner
Mug for Robert Beckner(WVRJ)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 8:50 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A man has been arrested for murder and arson in connection to a firefighter’s death.

According to the West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office, Robert Beckner, 36, of Iaeger, is facing three counts of first-degree arson and one count of first-degree murder.

On June 20, investigators say a fire began at Beckner’s residence on West Virginia Avenue. After they put out the fire, crews were called back the next morning due to a rekindling.

When they responded, Russell Roberson, 42, with the Iaeger Volunteer Fire Department suffered a fatal medical emergency.

Investigators say the rekindled fire also spread to two nearby dwellings, prompting the additional arson charges against Beckner.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal’s Office says Beckner admitted to setting the fire. He was arrested Thursday and will be held at Southwestern Regional Jail.

A funeral will be held Friday for Roberson. Governor Jim Justice addressed his death, saying, “every single one of our firefighters and first responders are all of our heroes. They always run to the fire. We know that this man is an absolute hero. We ask so much that you pause and pray for this wonderful man, a hero that we lost.”

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