Families of fallen firefighters honor loved ones during annual ceremony at state Capitol

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Beth Young said her son, Logan, told her on Christmas Day 2020 that he and his fiance were expecting a child. Two days later, he died while responding to a structure fire in the Eastern Panhandle.

“He had a shirt made,” Young said. “I turned it around and it said ‘Grandma 21’ on the back. Then 36 hours later, I got the call from Logan’s father that he was at the hospital. I never got to talk to him after Christmas night.”

Logan Young, 30, worked as a firefighter for the 167th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia National Guard. He was among the six fallen firefighters honored Sunday during an annual ceremony at the West Virginia Fallen Firefighters Memorial on the state Capitol grounds in Charleston.

His mother, wearing a red shirt with a photo of Logan’s face on it, fought back tears as she and Logan’s aunt placed a bundle of flowers on the firefighter statue that now bears his name.

“We’re just so proud of him. He gave his life,” she said. “He’s our hero.”

Young was fatally injured on Dec. 27, 2020 during a mutual aid response call to a structure fire. Investigators believe two fires were set intentionally. Both fires occurred on Charles Town Road in Kearneysville. The first happened at around 1:30 a.m. The second one broke out at 2 a.m.

Young was battling the second blaze, but never came home.

“It was a barn fire and the structure collapsed. Part of the barn fell on him. He didn’t make it,” she said.

In the months after Young’s death, his fiance gave birth to their daughter in June. Beth Young told MetroNews she’s been able to cope with her tragic loss, in part, because she now has a beautiful granddaughter.

“She is our strength. She has no idea at the infant age she is what she does for all of us, for our whole family. We wouldn’t be able to make it without her,” she said.

Young said she’s still beside herself knowing her son traveled overseas including missions in Japan and Syria and that he always came home. Seeing his name on the fallen firefighters statue reminds her of the “hero” he truly was.

“Some days I don’t have any strength,” she said. “My older son or Logan’s dad, who ever is the strongest on that day is going to pull everyone else through.

State fire marshals reported the two fires in Kearneysville as arson. They’re still working to track down a suspect. There is a $23,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Young’s death.

Young’s family hopes to receive answers soon.

“There’s somebody out there living their life who took my son, who took a baby away that will never know a father, took someone’s fiance away, someone’s brother and cousin away. It’s not fair,” she said.

Sunday’s ceremony honored the names of the fallen firefighters below. The event included a placement of wreaths, a bell ringing, reading of the fireman’s prayer, the playing of Taps and remarks from West Virginia fire officials.

FF Hunter R. Markle, South Berkeley VFC, March 25, 1975

FF James W. Ward, Logan FD, May 10, 2019

FF Mark E. Horwich, Clover-Roane VFD, January 11, 2020

FF Russell K. Roberson, Iaeger VFD, June 21, 2020

SA/FF Logan A. Young, WV ANG FD, December 27, 2020

Captain Charles W. Miller, Jr., Albright VFD, 2021