Police arrest suspect for arson fire at Horry Co. BBQ restaurant - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

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Police arrest suspect for arson fire at Horry Co. BBQ restaurant

Christopher L. Bryant. Source: Horry County Police Christopher L. Bryant. Source: Horry County Police
Source: HCPD Source: HCPD
Source: Alexandria Savage Source: Alexandria Savage
Source: Alexandria Savage Source: Alexandria Savage

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A 47-year-old Andrews man has been arrested and charged in connection with the fire at Big D's BBQ restaurant on George Bishop Parkway on Wednesday, November 18.

Christopher L. Bryant has been charged with third-degree arson and second-degree burglary in connection with the fire, according to a news release from Horry County Police. Bryant was booked at the Horry County Detention Center, and remains in custody as of Friday afternoon. His bond was set at $150,000 on each charge, for a total of $300,000, at a bond hearing Friday morning.

Big D's BBQ restaurant on George Bishop Parkway caught fire Wednesday morning, and crews spent the early morning hours trying to put out the flames.

An Horry County Fire Rescue arson investigator examined the fire and deemed is suspicious, according to a news release from Horry County Police. HCPD investigated the case as a possible arson. 

“I feel really sad right now,” said John Russell Davis, owner of Big D’s BBQ. “This barn has been here since 1982. To see it go, it’s been a part of my life so long, it’s disheartening to see it like that.”

Crews were dispatched at 2:27 a.m., according to Horry County Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Justin Gibbons, who also added the building was a total loss.

Heavy flames were shooting into the sky, WMBF News crews on scene said, and the business was gutted by 3 a.m. 

Horry County Fire Rescue, Horry County police, the Conway Fire Department, and Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue joined the effort to fight the flames with more than 40 firefighters on scene.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire, Gibbons said. 

“The problem is employees,” said Davis. “I have another restaurant in Conway, I have still have income coming in. But I have employees that depend on this place. That’s the sad thing right now, what can I do to help them out.”

Earlier this week, Horry County Police Detectives released photographs of a person of interest in the suspicious fire.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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