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Martinsburg man charged with setting his own apartment on fire

April 26, 2011

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Martinsburg man was charged with first-degree arson Monday after Martinsburg police alleged he set fire to his apartment on Sunday.

Marshall Gene Martin Jr., 40, of 210 W. Main St., Apt. 2, was being held in Eastern Regional Jail this morning, a spokeswoman at the jail said.

The Martinsburg Fire Department and police were called to the apartment at 9:40 p.m. Sunday for a suspicious fire, police said.

Investigators found that a candle wrapped in paper and in a plastic pill bottle had been lit and placed in a plastic bin, police said.

The device set fire to the carpet in the apartment, which was put out by neighboring tenants, police said.

Investigators also found that the oven had been turned on and a shirt placed inside earlier in the day, but had not been reported to the police or the fire department, police said.

Another “delayed device” was found under a sofa which police said failed to be ignited by the fire set Sunday night.

Martin was arrested on a warrant without incident on Monday, police said.

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