A Myrtle Beach man is in jail Wednesday evening on charges of arson after police accused him of starting a fire at a hotel off Highway 501 near the Myrtle Beach Speedway, according to Horry County police.
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Officers arrested Tracy William Nelson, 45, overnight and he was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to jail records.
The fire hotel at 401 Hospitality Lane, listed as the City Studios Inn and Suites, was confined to one room on the second floor in an area under renovation, according to Mark Nugent with the Horry County fire department.
According to a police report, an Horry County fire investigator said the “fire was started intentionally, due to a stove-top burner being left on with a box on top of it.”
He said the room was unoccupied and the sprinkler system in the hotel quickly extinguished the fire. Without the sprinklers, he said, “It could have been a lot worse.”
Nugent said 60 people were staying at the hotel at the time and all had to be relocated. He said the hotel staff was able to find other rooms for all their guests for the night.