Clarksburg man charged with arson, believes house was “cursed”


HEPZIBAH, W.Va. – A Harrison County man is facing an arson charge after fire marshals said he set fire to his mother’s home because he believed the house was cursed.

Christopher Curia

West Virginia State Fire Marshals said Christopher Curia, 33, of Clarksburg admitted to using a lighter to set a t-shirt on fire before throwing it on a couch in the living room of his mother’s house. The fire, which occurred on Dan Street in Harrison County was reported to Harrison County 911 on Tuesday, November 26 at 3:49 p.m., according to a criminal complaint.

Through an origin and cause investigation, fire marshals determined the fire was started in the living room of the house. While fire marshals were on scene, Curia returned to his mother’s house and was interviewed briefly by fire marshals, according to the complaint. Fire marshals said Curia then agreed to go to the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department to continue the interview.

Scene of fire on 11/26/19

During the interview, Curia admitted to starting the fire by lighting the t-shirt on fire and throwing it on the couch in the living room, according to the complaint. Fire Marshals said Curia also stated that he then left the house and went across the street to his neighbors’ house.

Fire Marshals said Curia stated that he returned to his mother’s house, saw that a fire has started on the couch, grabbed his Bible and then went back to his neighbors’ house. Curia told fire marshals that there was a curse on his mother’s house and that he was leaving the house to go to South Carolina and that he wanted to start a new life, according to the complaint.

According to a press release sent out by the W.Va State Fire Marshal’s office, the fire did approximately $30,000 worth of damage.

Curia has been charged with first degree arson, according to court documents. He is currently being held at North Central Regional Jail.

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