Officials say downtown Charleston fire set, resembles 50 other cases

CHARLESTON, SC - By Harve Jacobs  bio | email | Twitter

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Fire officials are investigating another arson in downtown Charleston that bears a striking resemblance to more than 50 other arson cases in the last few years.

Officials say the fire at 258 St. Philip St. happened at 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

Investigators say the suspect set fire to either a love seat or chair that were left on the second floor porch. The other fires were set in similar fashion, according to authorities.

A former firefighter who lives near the scene of the fire rescued a 78-year-old man and his 77-year-old wife from the downstairs apartment.

"I literally threw him over my shoulder because it started arcing," said Matthew Stergar. "It was instinct. I didn't think about it. I had to grab him."

Two other people living upstairs in the home were also able to evacuate the home safely, officials said.

Officials say this fire is similar to more than 50 that have been reported since 2003.

"It's just a matter of time, we're gonna have somebody hurt if they continue," said Charleston Assistant Fire Chief Raymond Lloyd.

Authorities are asking anyone who lives in the area of the fires to keep outside porch lights turned on, to remove anything from the porch that can be used to fuel a fire and to report any suspicious activity to police immediately.

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