HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A man told police he was just trying to clean up trash dumped on some property in the Green Sea area when it turned into a four-acre brush fire.
Firefighters and police were called Wednesday night to the Bertie Road area, where they met the suspect.
He told officers he had just returned home after being in prison for 13 years, and that before going to prison he kept the area clean, according to a police report.
The suspect said he was burning mattresses, tires and trash that had been dumped across the road from his home. He told officers he was not trying to damage anything and just wanted to clean up the area.
Officers said they were not able to determine who owned the property across the street and if the suspect had permission to burn items on the property.
At one point, officers said the suspect also became belligerent with firemen as they tried to get the fire under control.
The suspect is charged with arson/carrying fire on lands of another. Officials with the South Carolina Forestry Commission told WMBF that the agency’s law enforcement is also working to determine if any forestry-related charges will be filed in the case.
The suspect’s name has not been released.
No one was hurt in the fire and no buildings were at risk.