The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


March 20, 2014

Oak Hill woman charged with arson at bar

Beckley Police, aided by U.S. marshals, arrested an Oak Hill woman in connection with the Jan. 17 fire at Shooter’s Bar in Beckley.

According to officials at the U.S. Marshals Service, Michelle Surface was arrested on charges of second-degree arson earlier this week at her telemarketing job on Grey Flats Road in Beckley. The Marshals Service was involved as a part of its Joint Fugitive Task Force which aids local agencies in serving felony warrants.

Beckley Fire Department responded to Shooter’s Bar on Second Street in January and after extinguishing the fire, the agency’s investigators found it to be incendiary and not accidental, according to the criminal complaint.

After further review of surveillance video from the bar, officials discovered what appeared to be the defendant setting the fire inside the bar, authorities said. Surface, an employee of Shooter’s, was working alone with no customers in the bar on the morning the fire occurred, authorities said.

According to the criminal complaint, the suspect was observed walking over to a table that had several boxes stacked on top, approximately three minutes before the fire started in the area of the bar where the fire occurred. In the video, the suspect kneeled down by the table and started what appears to be a fire close to the floor. Minutes later, flames are seen coming from the boxes. The fire spread to the wall, and then to the second level of the bar.

The blaze caused around $80,000 in damages to the building. Surface was released on bond from Southern Regional Jail late Monday.

— E-mail:

Text Only
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Web Extra