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Two charged in connection with apartment fire

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Two people were arrested Wednesday, accused of setting fire to an apartment building downtown.

Douglas E. Williams II, 24, of Belva and Thomas Leon Johnson, 40, of Chesapeake, were charged with first-degree arson in connection with a fire at the Cornerstone Apartments on Sept. 24, according to criminal complaints on file in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

According to the complaints, Williams and Johnson were allegedly caught on video surveillance cameras at around 3 p.m. on the day of the fire, walking toward the apartment building, and then again coming back out of the building.

The building, worth more than $100,000, was destroyed in the fire, according to the criminal complaints. The complaints allege both Williams and Johnson stood by and watched the fire after it was set, but made no attempts to report the fire to authorities.

Williams and Johnson blame each other for setting the fire, which began on the second floor, according to the criminal complaints.

Williams and Johnson each face two to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Magistrate Pete Lopez set bail on each man at $100,000.


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