Va. volunteer firefighter charged with setting fire to abandoned building

WOODSTOCK, Va. — Officials say a Virginia volunteer firefighter has been charged with setting fire to an abandoned building.

The Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Department says firefighters from several departments responded to a report of a structure fire Friday night in Woodstock and found the building fully engulfed.

It took about four hours to control.

Officials say surveillance video showed a man wearing distinct clothes on the property before the fire was reported and investigators noted that a Woodstock Fire Department member was wearing matching clothes.

Shenandoah County Assistant Fire Marshal Joe Loving said investigators retrieved surveillance video of a man in front of the building about 30 minutes before the fire was reported and his “very distinct” clothing led them to a suspect.

Investigators noted that Ray Boyd Kerns, 36, of Toms Brook, a member of the Woodstock Fire Department, was wearing matching clothing, officials said.

Loving said Monday that Kerns was with the first crew to arrive on the scene, The Northern Virginia Daily reported.

Kerns was arrested and charged with burning or destroying any other building and intentionally destroying, defacing or damaging a building, both felonies.

The Woodstock Fire Department released a statement saying Kerns has been suspended.

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