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Homeless man facing arson charges in Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG — A man was arrested after trying to set five fires in an apartment building in Parkersburg, leading to the hospitalization of a minor.

Bryan Andrew Morris, 25, homeless, was arraigned in the Wood County Magistrate Court on Wednesday for an incident that happened in June 2019, according to the criminal complaint.

Morris attempted to set fire to an occupied apartment at 2717 Bird Street in Parkersburg. An investigation revealed five different locations in the apartment that Morris tried to set ablaze, the complaint said.

“All above mentioned fires were contained and extinguished on their own without the Parkersburg Fire Department extinguishing them,” the complaint said.

The fires, intentionally set, caused smoke damage in the apartment in question along with four neighboring units, according to the complaint.

All affected occupants had to be displaced for four weeks and a juvenile who lived in the apartment unit with Morris had to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, the complaint said.

“During investigation, one location located where a fire was intentionally set. (It) was down in a wall (and) behind a wall receptacle where the receptacle was removed and numerous items were soaked in woman’s perfume in an attempt to use perfume as an accelerant,” the complaint said.

An empty perfume bottle was nearby and it was processed for fingerprints, resulting in a positive thumb print match with Morris, according to the complaint.

The complaint said at the time of the fires, Morris, the juvenile and Morris’ father were inside the apartment.

Morris is being charged with causing injuries during an arson related crime and the attempt to commit fourth degree arson and was being held at North Central Regional Jail on a $50,000 surety bond.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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