Woodstock Firefighter Charged With Setting Building Ablaze Friday Night

According to a release by the Shenandoah County Fire and Rescue Department, a member of the Woodstock Fire Department has been charged with allegedly setting a building on fire at 402 W Locust Street in the Shenandoah County town Friday night.

On August 12, 2022, around 9:53 PM, Shenandoah County Communications Center (911 Center) received a 911 call for a structure fire located at 402 West Locust Street, Woodstock, Virginia. Upon first responder arrival on scene, the structure was reported as fully involved. First Responders from Woodstock, Edinburg, Toms Brook, and Strasburg Volunteer Fire Departments, Mount Jackson Volunteer Rescue and Fire, Woodstock and Strasburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, and Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue, responded to the incident.

The structure was a 1902 multi-story wood frame abandoned building owned by Lena Frances Keegan.

On August 13, 2022, around 2:09 AM, Fire and Rescue crews reported the fire was under control.

Woodstock Police Department, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, and Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s Office also responded to the scene.

During the fire investigation, agencies were able to secure security/surveillance video which identified a person, wearing very distinctive clothing, standing in the front yard of the property approximately 30 minutes prior to the fire being reported.

Shenandoah County Fire Marshal’s Office arrested Ray Boyd KERNS of Toms Brook, Virginia without incident for one (1) class 4 felony for §18.2-80 Burning or destroying any other building or structure and one (1) class 6 felony for §18.2-137 Intentionally destroy, deface, or damage to a building. KERNS is currently being held without bond at RSW Regional Jail. During the initial phase of the investigation, KERNS was noted as wearing clothing that matched the surveillance video. KERNS is a member of the Woodstock Fire Department, Inc. (WFD). WFD assisted in the investigation that led to KERNS arrest and remains cooperative with law enforcement.

As of August 13, 2022, 9:06 AM, Fire and Rescue crews remain on the scene extinguishing the remainder of the fire.

Anyone in and around the area at the time of the fire is requested to contact Assistant Fire Marshal, Joe Loving, at 540-459-3503.

Abandoned Building Fire Department Burn

Photo: Getty Images

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