Two separate fires that ignited early Thursday morning were intentionally set, according to police, who have now charged two men in connection with arson.
Michael Blake, 20, is charged with two counts of third-degree arson and two counts of third-degree burglary after allegedly starting fires at the Emerald Shores Motel then later the same morning at the Carousel Motel, police said.
Terry Allen Myrick, 63, is charged with one count of third-degree arson in connection with the fire at the Carousel Motel, an arrest warrant shows.
The pair was taken into custody Thursday afternoon after city cameras were used to help identity the suspects, police said.
Myrtle Beach police and fire firefighters were called about 3:20 a.m. Thursday to battle a blaze at the Emerald Shores Motel at 404 N. Ocean Blvd., which is a vacant property.
Hours later, Myrtle Beach police and firefighters were called at 6:20 a.m. to a structure fire at the Carousel Motel at 1402 S. Ocean Blvd., which is also vacant, authorities said.
Investigations revealed these fires were similar in nature and “intentionally set,” according to an affidavit, and police learned that the fire at the Carousel Motel was set in the establishment’s office living quarters.
City cameras show Blake and Myrick walking south on Ocean Boulevard until they reached one of the incident locations, police said.
One suspect waited across the street while another gained entry inside one the motels. The suspect then flees the hotel and a short time later a fire breaks out, authorities said.
Damage was done to the vacant buildings from the fires, but Myrtle Beach firefighters got each fire under control quickly, and no injuries were reported in connection to the incidents.
Part of Ocean Boulevard was closed Thursday morning from about 17th Avenue South to 12th Avenue South while crews worked at the scene at the Carousel Motel.