Police identify suspects in arson fires at two Ocean Boulevard m - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Police identify suspects in arson fires at two Ocean Boulevard motels

Michael Blake. Source: MBPD Michael Blake. Source: MBPD
Terry Allen Myrick. Source: MBPD Terry Allen Myrick. Source: MBPD
(Source: MBPD) (Source: MBPD)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Myrtle Beach police said they figured out the cause of fires started at two abandoned Myrtle Beach motels on Ocean Boulevard Thursday morning: arson. They also announced they found the two people believed to be responsible.

Myrtle Beach Fire crews responded to the Emerald Shores Motel around 4 a.m. and then to the Carousel Motel around 6:30 a.m.

Two suspects have been identified and taken into custody, according to Lt. Joey Crosby of the MBPD. Michael Blake, 20, was arrested and charged with two counts of arson and two counts of burglary. Terry Allen Myrick, 63, was arrested and charged with one count of arson.

An investigation revealed that the cause of the fire at both motels was similar in nature, and the fires were intentionally set.  It's thanks to the newly installed cameras along Ocean Boulevard that police say they were able to find the suspects. They checked the cameras, matched up the times and eventually identified the suspects before arresting them.

Blake and Myrick were seen on the city's camera system walking south on Ocean Boulevard to the second incident location at the Carousel Motel, according to arrest warrants released Friday. Blake then gained entry to the motel while Myrick waited for him. Blake is then seen fleeing the building shortly before the fire begins in the office living quarters of the vacant motel. Blake and Myrick stood together for a short time, and then flee the area when first responders arrive. 

Blake and Myrick are also seen going towards the Emerald Shores Motel just prior to that fire. Based on the video, and the fact that both incidents were similar in nature, the warrant states that there is probable cause to believe Blake and Myrick did commit the offenses.

The City of Myrtle Beach confirmed that both motels are condemned properties, but property owners are required to keep them boarded up to prevent the homeless from coming in, vandals from breaking in or anything else that could pose a safety issue.

The Carousel fire closed Ocean Boulevard from 14th Avenue South to 16th Avenue South for several hours Thursday morning, but crews were able to put the fire out quickly.

Overnight, the Emerald Shores motel caught fire. The Carousel and the Emerald Shores motels are about two miles apart.

Mobile users, tap here to view a slideshow of the two motel fires.

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