Kimberly man charged with murder following the death of State Forestry worker

Press Release, Fayette County Sheriff Mike Fridley

At approximately 6:00 p.m. on April 11, 2023, a possible wildfire was detected in the Tucker Hollow area of Powellton. Overnight, the fire had grown to consume several hundred acres. In the evening hours of April 13, 2023, a worker with the West Virginia Division of Forestry (Cody J. Mullens, 28, of Mt. Hope) was gravely injured while combatting the growing wildfire and ultimately succumbed to those injuries. The Fayette County Rope Rescue Team, Armstrong Creek Fire Department, and Montgomery Fire Department were instrumental in the rescue of the injured worker. While working on extinguishing the fire, the Division of Forestry was able to determine that the fire was intentionally set, as a result, arson investigators from the WV State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department, and the Division of Forestry were contacted to investigate. The investigation led to the arrest of a single individual.

David A. Bass, 39, of Kimberly, is facing four counts of felony wildland arson and one count of felony murder. Bass was transported to Southern Regional Jail to await court proceeedings.

David A. Bass.

DISCLAIMER: Defendants are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Sheriff Mike Fridley and the rest of the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the brave and honorable firefighter, who was and will always be a hero.

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