FAIRMONT — Two junior firefighters were among four Fairmont teenagers charged on Tuesday with setting multiple fires that burned two buildings, including one built in the 1800s, and more than 30 bales of hay.
Sheriff’s Lt. Brian Duckworth said Michael Brandon Britt, 17, of the 7000 block of U.S. 904 East, and Waylon Garrett Mayers, 16, of the 7000 block of U.S. 904 East, are each charged with two counts of felony burning certain buildings, four counts of felony burning personal property, and two counts of misdemeanor setting fire to grasslands or woodlands; Britt is also charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering and misdemeanor larceny. They were both junior firefighters with Whitehouse Volunteer Fire Department, according to Duckworth, but are no longer with the department.
Daniel Leamon Bass, 16, of the 5000 block of Old State Road, is charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering, misdemeanor larceny, two counts of felony burning certain buildings, two counts of felony burning personal property, and two counts of felony setting fire to grasslands or woodlands; Michael Antrone Gaddy, 18, of the 300 Block of Harrington Road, is charged with two counts of felony burning personal property, felony burning certain buildings, and two counts of misdemeanor setting fire to grasslands or woodlands, according to Duckworth.
Duckworth said Britt, Mayers, Bass and Gaddy were “getting together on the weekends” and setting the fires.
He said Mayers and Britts started the first fire, on June 30, when they burned three bales of hay on U.S. 904 that belonged to Sandy Evans. They returned on Aug. 4 and burned another bale, said Duckworth.
On Aug. 10, Bass joined Britt and Mayers, destroying a house on Oakdale Church Road, according to Duckworth. The house, which was valued at $3,100, was owned by Raymond Harrington Jr.
Duckworth said that on Nov. 3, Britt, Mayers, Bass, and Gaddy set two fires to woodland on JW Road in Fairmont that belonged to Alexander Arnette. Later that day they set fire to 14 bales of hay on Callahan Road that belonged to Evans and 15 bales of hay on Cowpen Church Road that were owned by James Goodyear.
Duckworth said that same day, they used fire to destroy a $60,000 building on U.S. 904 owned by Susan Castlebury. He said the “commissary” was built in 1872 by one of Castlebury’s ancestors.
Britt and Bass are also charged with breaking into the Whitehouse Volunteer Fire Department, according to Duckworth.
Their bonds were set as follows: Britt, $4,000; Mayers, $3,500; Bass, $3,000; and Gaddy, $2,000. The Robesonian was unable to attain photographs of Britt and Mayers because they were bonded out before photographs were taken, according to a jail spokesman.
Each was scheduled to make a first court appearance today.