Fire leads to arson arrest for woman

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon woman is being held in lieu of a $150,000 bond after she was arrested and charged with arson Monday.

Beth Ann Bolyard, 47, was charged with one felony count of first-degree arson for allegedly setting fire to a mobile home located on Sparrow Drive in Buckhannon last week.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s office, which was prepared by Assistant State Fire Marshal Joshua A. Amos, a fire broke out at a mobile home located at 25 Sparrow Drive in Buckhannon at 11:39 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 8.

Bolyard and her family lived in the mobile home at the time the blaze broke out, the complaint states.

Amos claims that in a recorded statement, Bolyard allegedly admitted that she “intentionally set fire to a sock and then ‘knocked it'” onto a love seat located in her daughter’s bedroom of the mobile home, according to Amos’ report.

“(Bolyard) stated she set fire to the mobile home because she wanted to leave her husband because he didn’t want to share his money with her or purchase food for the house,” Amos wrote in the complaint.

The complaint notes that the mobile home was owned by landlord Mike Rhodes at the time Bolyard allegedly started a fire there. When contacted for comment, Rhodes said the structure was “a total loss.”

During the course of Bolyard’s interview with Amos, Bolyard also allegedly admitted to setting fire to a mobile home located in Hacker’s Creek in October 2012 “for the same reason,” the complaint states.

Magistrate Juanita Adams arraigned Bolyard Monday, setting bond at $150,000 cash or surety by a bail person. As of presstime, Bolyard remained incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

The penalty for a conviction of first-degree arson is imprisonment in a state penitentiary for two to 20 years.

Contact Katie Kuba by email at Follow her on Twitter at IMT_Kuba.