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SEPTEMBER 1, 2015
Investigators with the West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office have determined the fire at the old Fort Gay High School was intentionally set and that the investigation is ongoing.
A $5000 reward is being offered by the state fire marshal's office for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for a fire that heavily damaged the former Fort Gay Middle School on Saturday evening.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to contact the W.Va. Arson Hotline at 1-800-233-FIRE (3473).
Even more speculation is rampant as yet another fire suspicious fire broke out late Sunday night in Fort Gay.
At around 10:30 P.M., Sunday night, Wayne County 911 received a call about smoke and flames coming from a structure building on Broadway Street in Fort Gay. The Fort Gay Fire Department immediately responded to the scene, an old home that was vacant and essentially abandoned.
Just after 11 P.M., the Fort Gay Fire Department requested further assistance from the Louisa Fire Department, for additional water, as the Fort Gay F.D. was having water pressure and water availability issues at the fire scene.
No further information has been released; but since the house was unoccupied, it has led to major speculation in the town of Fort Gay that this fire was also possibly another arson incident.
(This article contains the opinion of its author)
AUGUST 30, 2015
The West Virginia state fire marshal’s office is investigating a fire that partially destroyed an old school building in Wayne County.
At around 6:30 P.M Saturday evening, Wayne 911 received a call of heavy smoke and some flames being seen coming from the building that was the previous Fort Gay Middle School.
The Fort Gay Fire Department responded onto the scene, being only 2 blocks from the site.
Fort Gay Fire Chief Joseph Bowen said the fire started on the first floor of the old Fort Gay High School and quickly spread to the second floor of the building.
After a few minutes on the scene, Fort Gay Gay fire officials made a mutual assistance call to fire departments from Louisa, Wayne, Pritchard and Big Sandy F.D., who all responded to the call and helped bring the fire under control.
At one point, a call was even made for assistance from the Cannonsburg Fire Department in Boyd County when for a brief period it appeared the building would become fully engulfed into a massive inferno, but that call was soon canceled after the several fire agencies contained the flames to the middle section of the building
It’s not clear at this time how extensive the damage is.
A cause of the fire has not been determined, but the state fire marshal has been called in to investigate, as the school had no utilities running to the site since its closure in June 2013. In its place was the the new $10 million Fort Gay Elementary and Middle School, which was built behind the old building, on the site of the old Fort Gay High School football field.
The building was the Old Fort Gay High School when it opened in 1930, before being turned into the Fort Gay Middle School in 1989 after the merger of Fort Gay High School and Crum High School into present day Tolsia High School.
By late Saturday night, word had spread that arson was the likely cause of the fire; and that local law enforcement had a 'person of interest' that they were looking for to get for questioning.
AUGUST 30, 2015
LOUISA, Ky. -- The phones were buzzing in Louisa this week as word spread that a resident had gone to work that day and returned to a broken into home. Several items were missing and then another resident said she had been broken into as well.
The word Friday in the Meadowbrook area was that one had said a handgun was one of the items stolen.
Advice was spread to "make sure and lock your door" and the night happened to be the night of an "away" football game for the LCHS Bulldogs and lots of folks were heading out to the game.
But Saturday Louisa police Chief Greg Fugitt announced his crew already had a suspect in custody.
Here is Chief Fugitt's press release:
"...On August 27, 2015 the Louisa Police Department responded to two separate reports of burglary in the Meadowbrook/ Cherry Knoll areas of Louisa. Each victim reported several valuable items were stolen during the thefts. Ptl Hunter James gathered information, evidence and began the investigation.
During the course of the investigation Sgt. Ed Cordle was able to locate the suspect driving the vehicle that was seen in the area during the thefts. Sgt. Cordle conducted a traffic stop on the suspect for failure to wear his seat belt. During the traffic stop Chief Greg Fugitt located a .22 caliber pistol on the suspect, which was one of the reported items stolen.
A search warrant for the suspects’ residence and vehicle was conducted by Ptl. James where most of the stolen items were located, some items were later found in Fort Gay WV.
Chief Fugitt arrested Kevin A. Totten, 39 of Louisa charging him with; (1) two counts of Burglary 2nd, (2) Possession of Handgun by Convicted Felon and (3)Carrying Concealed Deadly Weapon. Sgt. Cordle cited Mr. Totten for (4) Failure to Wear Seat Belt, (5) Failure to Maintain Insurance, (6) Expired Registration Plates and (7)Expired Registration Receipt.
Subject was lodged in Big Sandy regional Dentition Center. Case remains under investigation by Ptl. Hunter James and will be presented to the Lawrence County Grand Jury.
Totten was still lodged in jail Sunday morning according to the web page of The Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.