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Chesapeake man arraigned on arson charges

CHESAPEAKE - A Chesapeake man remains in jail today after being arrested in connection with a fire in the Chesapeake area Saturday night.

Randy Farris, 47, of 3645 State Route 7, is charged with breaking and entering and arson. He was arraigned in Lawrence County Municipal Court Monday morning. Judge Donald Capper set a $10,000 cash or surety bond and scheduled a May 23 preliminary hearing.

According to a Lawrence County Sheriff's Office report, deputy Darren Hamlin was on road patrol in that area when he spotted the fire at the unoccupied apartment building. He then noticed Farris standing nearby.

In his report, Hamlin stated that Farris noticed the cruiser and allegedly began walking quickly toward the burning building. Later,

Farris allegedly confessed to Hamlin that he "kicked open the door (to the building and set a sheet and some other stuff on fire and walked to the Citgo station to watch it burn," according to the report.

Farris allegedly told Hamlin he used a cigarette lighter to start the blaze.

No utilities were operable in the apartment building at the time of the fire, according to Union-Chesapeake firefighter Ed Webb.

" The upstairs apartment sustained some smoke damage. There was significant smoke and some water damage downstairs," Webb said. "A big plus for us was that there was a fire hydrant about 100 feet from the building."

Proctorville Volunteer Fire Department assisted in battling the blaze.