Man accused of starting fire speaks out

By Greg Argos - bio | email

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The man South Carolina Forestry Commission officials originally said started a garbage fire that sparked the Horry County Wildfire says he wants the public to know it's not true.

The Forestry Commission appears to be backing his claim. Tuesday, officials from the commission backtracked on placing the blame on Marc Torchi, saying they may have been "premature" in saying his fire started the larger blaze.

"It's everywhere," Torchi said. "Everyone thinks my fire had something to do with the wildfire. It just has to be clear that it wasn't me."

Torchi talked for the first time on camera to WMBF News. He says he's completely embarrassed and upset over how the blame was put on him so quickly.

"I'm not sure how I feel," he said. "I'm scared. Embarrassed."

Torchi's wife, Megan Brogan says the commission's backtracking is too little, too late.

"It's already out there," she explained. "You know how many people are going to see good news as opposed to how many people are going to see the bad news. People are really getting the wrong idea."

Officials from the South Carolina Forestry Commission admit they were premature in putting the blame for starting the fire solely on Torchi. However, they do say their ongoing investigation shows the origin of the fire to be near Torchi's home off of Woodlawn Drive.

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