Suspect in custody after fire at former YWCA building

January 5, 2019

HUNTINGTON — A suspect was arrested in connection with a fire that broke out early Thursday at the YWCA building on 5th Avenue in Huntington.

Joshua Scott Griffith Francis, 26, of Huntington, is charged with first-degree arson. He is housed at Western Regional Jail. Bond is set at $50,000.

The fire was reported just after 2 a.m. Thursday at an outbuilding in the 600 block of 5th Avenue behind the former YWCA building in Huntington. The YWCA has been empty for several years.

A passer-by reported smoke coming out of the building, and the building was fully engulfed by the time firefighters arrived. No injuries were reported.

An investigation by the city fire marshal determined the blaze to be a set fire.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court, Francis was apprehended in the 400 block of 5th Street on Friday allegedly wearing the same clothing as the suspect investigators identified through surveillance footage obtained from several businesses surrounding the YWCA.

He was taken into custody without incident.

Francis faces a possible two to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Follow reporter Megan Osborne on Twitter and Facebook @megosborneHD.

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