UNION COUNTY — Two teenagers have been arrested and charged in connection with a structure fire in Monarch earlier this month.
In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Union County Sheriff David Taylor announced the arrest of the juveniles. Taylor said the arrests were the result of an investigation that began April 2 when deputies were dispatched to 113 Munro Street at the request of the Monarch Fire Department. He said that Arson Investigator Scott Coffer responded at the request of Deputy Jamison Taylor due to the suspicious nature of the fire and the location of the fire on the property.
Taylor said that the victim told deputies that there was power to the shop area of the building but not to the apartment area and it was believed that the fire started in the area without power. He said that damage to the property was estimated at $15,000.
Taylor said a witness told deputies that two juveniles had been seen leaving the incident location. He said that SLED Arson was called to the scene on Sunday morning and a search warrant was obtained for the property. The scene was processed and SLED K-9 alerted on a possible accelerant.
Taylor said that after the identity of the two juveniles was determined, they were interviewed and admitted to setting the fire. He said the juveniles, both 14, were taken into custody Tuesday and transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia where they will remain until a Family Court hearing is held. One is a student at Sims Middle School and the other a student at Union County High School.
Taylor said this is the second arson case solved in Union County this month by Sheriff’s Office investigators and the SLED Arson Team. He commended Monarch Fireman Donald Larry Robinson, III for making the quick decision to photograph the scene of the fire upon his arrival on scene. With Robinson’s photos as evidence, Taylor said investigators were able to make this case against the juveniles.
Taylor also said that Union County should be proud of the dedicated men and women who serve as volunteer firemen in this county and he is proud of the working relationship between them and his deputies.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.