The Buckhannon Fire Department utilizes its ladder truck to ensure a June 20 fire in an apartment above Merle Norman is fully extinguished June 20. / File photo

Felony warrant for child neglect issued following investigation into Main Street fire

BUCKHANNON – A felony warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Buckhannon man following the Buckhannon Police Department’s investigation of a structure fire that occurred June 20 on Main Street.

Buckhannon Police Chief Matt Gregory said Thursday that a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Melvin Tyler, 29, for child neglect creating risk of serious bodily injury.

The warrant is not for arson but is connected to the fire that broke out in a second-story apartment above Merle Norman and the Pink Hydrangea on Main Street Saturday, June 20. Gregory said Tyler, who is originally from Maryland, is the parent-guardian of three children – a five-year-old, a six-year-old and a seven-year-old – who were home at the time the fire started.

The children are safe, Gregory said, and no one was injured in the fire, according to a previous story.

It’s not clear exactly how long Tyler was at the residence during or after the fire started.

“He was there at one point, and then he left,” Gregory said of Tyler. “We do have a felony warrant for his arrest, but now he’s believed to have left the state. That’s the information we have received.”

Tyler is Black and stands 6 feet tall, weighing about 225 pounds, the police chief said. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is asked to call the police at 304-472-5723, the Upshur County E911 Communication Center at 304-472-9550 or leave a tip anonymously on the BPD’s website here.

Career firefighter John Brugnoli said the Buckhannon Fire Department had not received a report back on the cause of the fire from the state fire marshal’s office, which investigated the incident.

Gregory indicated the fire did not appear to be accidental.

“It was started,” he said.

Read the original story here.

News Feed

Subscribe to remove popups, or just enjoy this free story and support our local businesses!