Jun. 23-A Morgantown man is being held at North Central Regional Jail after allegedly setting multiple fires to an apartment with small children inside during a domestic dispute on Monday.
Deputies from the Monongalia County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to a Goshen Road apartment for a domestic dispute after a caller said her sister was at the apartment with Rodney A. Moats Jr., 30, of Morgantown.
According to the criminal complaint, the caller also said Moats had a knife and was attempting to set the apartment on fire.
Deputy Ethan Mongold Jr., who filed the complaint, said upon arriving at the apartment complex, he made contact with and detained Moats, who was armed with a knife.
The female victim told Mongold Moats was high on methamphetamine and angry. She said Moats told her he was "going to burn this b ---- down, " then he set fire to a curtain in the living room.
Two children, ages 8 and 3, were on a bed a few feet away from the curtain.
The victim said the 8-year-old yelled that the curtain was on fire and she had to use water to put it out.
"Moats then bent the faucet to prevent [the victim ] from getting any more water, and set a rag on fire using the stove burner, " the report said. The victim said she had to use juice to put out that fire.
The children were able to get outside with a neighbor as the apartment filled with smoke.
According to Mongold's report, several things in the apartment corroborated the victim's statement on what happened, including a burnt rag, juice on the stove, a bent sink faucet, the melted curtain and a burn mark on the wall where the curtain was.
Residents in neighboring apartments told the deputy they could smell the smoke from the fire.
"The apartment was one of approximately nine in the apartment complex, " Mongold reported. "Mr. Moats not only endangered the children who were only a few feet away, but the entire apartment complex."
Moats is being charged with first-degree arson and child neglect. A preliminary hearing in Monongalia County Magistrate Court has been scheduled for June 30. He is being held at North Central Regional Jail on $175, 000 bond.