Firefighter killed in West Virginia; murder and arson charges filed

A Fayette County, West Virginia man is in custody charged with arson and murder in connection with the fire that claimed the life of Fayette County firefighter Cody Mullens. Sheriff Mike Fridley announced that David Bass, 39, of Kimberly was charged with four counts of felony wildland arson and one count of felony murder. It’s alleged that Bass set the fire in the Tucker Hollow area of Powellton, according to Metro News in Charleston.

Firefighter Cody Mullens
Firefighter Cody Mullens

Mullens, 28, of Mount Hope, was struck by a falling tree and died a short time later. A joint investigation by the West Virginia Fire Marshall’s Office, the Division of Forestry, and the Fayette County Sheriff determined that the cause of the fire, reported April 12, was arson. This is reported to be the first line of duty death in the history of the Division of Forestry.

Fridley said Mullens was brave and honorable “who was and will always be a hero.” According to WOWKTV-13 News, anyone with information can contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department at (304)574-3590 or Crime Stoppers of West Virginia at (304)255-STOP.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.