Man charged in downtown fire in Matoaka enters plea to lesser ch - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Man charged in downtown fire in Matoaka enters plea to lesser charge

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Brandon Coomes, 29, enters plea to lesser charge. He was arrested for the Aug. 8, 2014 fire that destroyed four buildings in downtown Matoaka. Brandon Coomes, 29, enters plea to lesser charge. He was arrested for the Aug. 8, 2014 fire that destroyed four buildings in downtown Matoaka.
MERCER COUNTY (WVVA) The man accused of starting a fire in downtown Matoaka, WV has entered a plea to lesser charge.

Brandon Coomes, 29, says he accidentally started the August 8 fire by tossing a lit cigarette. Coomes also admits he went into one of the buildings that burned down to steal copper. Prosecutors say no accelerant was found during the investigation.

In court on Thursday, Coomes pleaded guilty to the charge entering without breaking.  He faces 1-10 years in prison. 

READ ORIGINAL REPORT ON THE ARREST OF BRANDON COOMES
http://www.wvva.com/story/26237675/2014/08/08/arrest-made-in-connection-with-matoaka-fire

The massive fire caused an estimated $4 million in damage, destroying four buildings that housed two businesses and several apartments. It started in a former hotel on Barger Street. At one point, emergency workers from 14 agencies were on scene battling the fire and redirecting traffic.

Coomes is currently being held in Southern Regional Jail. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 16. 

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