FRENCH CREEK – A French Creek man was arrested after he allegedly set a couch, a pair of jeans and a Taco Bell bag full of trash on fire at his residence Thursday night.
Christopher L. Green, 33, was charged with attempt to commit arson, fourth degree, a felony, after police and firefighters in southern Upshur County responded to a call regarding a man burning things inside his home after becoming involved in an argument with his wife, according to Cpl. Dewaine Linger with the Upshur County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the complaint filed by Linger in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office Friday, at about 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, Green and his wife were at their residence located on the Alexander Road when they became involved in a verbal altercation.
At one point, Green allegedly told his wife that “if she valued her belongings that she better start talking to him,” Linger wrote in the complaint.
His wife replied that she didn’t know what he was referring to, the file states.
“At that time, [Green] set a blanket, a pair of jeans and a paper bag on fire inside the residence,” the complaint states.
On Friday morning, Linger told My Buckhannon the paper bag was an old Taco Bell bag full of trash, which Green allegedly threw on the floor after lighting it.
“His wife was able to stomp that out,” Linger said.
Soon after, Green and his wife went outside, but Green later returned to the residence, and at some point, he allegedly set the living room couch on fire, the file says.
Linger said when deputies arrived on scene, Green was sitting in his vehicle and they were able to detain him there. However, his wife and sheriff’s deputies noticed smoke beginning to stream out of the house.
“She said the house was on fire,” Linger said. “So, we went inside, and that couch was on fire – it was blazing with fire, and it burned the cushions and filled the living room up with smoke.”
Linger said he, Green’s wife and assisting law enforcement officers, including Sgt. Marshall Powers and Cpl. Rodney Rolenson, began filling pots and pans with water from the kitchen sink and pouring them on flames.
“The deputies, along with [Green’s wife], were able to put the fire out by dumping multiple pots of water on it from the sink,” the file says.
Adrian Volunteer Fire Department, Banks District Volunteer Department and Selbyville Volunteer Department were staged at a safe distance until police secured the scene, Linger said Friday morning.
“Then, firefighters went in and tested for hot spots and made sure the fire was fully extinguished,” Linger said.
Magistrate Kay Hurst set bail at $25,000 cash or surety, and as of Friday evening, Green remained incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.
The penalty for a conviction of fourth-degree attempted arson is a definite term of imprisonment for not less than one but not more than two years, a fine of up to $2,500 or both.