Fire at Horry County church deemed suspicious

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A fire at Heavenly Grace Ministries Church in the Myrtle Beach area just after midnight Wednesday has been deemed suspicious, according to officials.

Horry County Fire Rescue responded to the church on Peachtree road at 12:13 a.m. Wednesday, according to an HCFR news release.

"It was kind of scary at first but we determined whatever happened that we were going to have church last night," said Pastor Allen Brown.

Despite fire damage, the church still held their Wednesday evening service.

"Everybody was thankful for no more damage than we had. It could have been a lot worse," said Brown.

According to Mark Nugent with HCFR, the fire started in the social hall of the church. The church was not occupied at the time of the incident; no first responders were injured.

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An investigation by the HCFR Fire Investigation Unit, in coordination with investigations from the Horry County Police Department and the ATF, determined the cause of the fire is suspicious. The investigation is on-going, and there is no more information at this time, the release states.

Anyone with information on the fire is asked to call the Horry County Investigations Division at crimetips@horrycounty.org, or the tips line at 843-915-TIPS.

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