Officials respond to massive overnight fire in Woodstock


HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – According to a press release by Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue, first responders from Woodstock and neighboring towns responded to a call of a structure fire on West Locust Street in Woodstock around 9:53 p.m. Friday night. When they arrived, the building was fully engulfed in flames.

We spoke with Investigator and Assistant Fire Marshall Joe Loving with the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue on Saturday evening. He confirmed that no one was injured in the fire.

Loving said they were able to retrieve surveillance footage of a man in front of the building 30 minutes before the fire was reported. He said his “very distinct” clothing led them to the suspect.

Later, they arrested Roy Boyd Kerns, who Loving said was a volunteer fire fighter with Woodstock Fire Department. WFD released a statement saying he has been suspended from the department.

Loving said Kerns confessed to starting the fire and gave them information about the fire that only the person who started it would know. Loving could not comment on the how the fire was started.

Kerns was arrested with two felonies including “Burning or destroying any other building or structure” and “intentionally destroy, deface, or damage to a building”. He is being held without bond at RSW Regional Jail.

Investigator Loving acknowledged that U.S. Secret Service and the Woodstock Police Department have been investigating a missing persons case that is linked to the building, but they do not believe the two cases are connected.

According to the press release, the 1902 abandoned building was owned by Lena Frances Keegan.

Copyright 2022 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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