Crime

Myrtle Beach couple charged with burglary after fire at neighbor’s house

A Myrtle Beach couple is charged with burglarizing their neighbor’s apartment after they reported it caught fire and they extinguished it, according to a police report.

Suzette Luz Barros, 33, and Matthew Donald McChesney, 34, were each charged with first-degree burglary after emergency officials were called about 12 a.m. Tuesday to 830 44th Ave. N., for a fire, police said.

Barros told police she was outside smoking when she saw flames reaching the top window of the apartment next to hers so she shouted to McChesney, her fiance, that there was a fire and come help put it out, according to the report. Barros told police she grabbed the fire extinguisher they had, but it was empty so she went and got one that was in a common area of the apartment complex.

Barros said McChesney then kicked open the door to the apartment on fire and put it out, according to the report.

McChesney told police he was getting ready for bed when Barros yelled for help about the fire next door.

McChesney said he saw smoke coming from the kitchen and the door so he got the fire extinguisher to spray the blaze, according to the report. The apartment was not occupied.

An arson investigator with the fire department told police the burnt areas around the door were deliberately set and there were items missing from the apartment, according to the report. Fire officials told police that there were clean spots on the tables and counters where the fire extinguisher had been used and items were sitting there at that time, but were gone.

The victim, who lives in the apartment, came to the scene and reported two candles and holders, three lamps, miscellaneous tableware, bath towels, glasses, a blender, two area rugs, various kitchen cooking utensils and cleaning supplies that included detergent, trash bags and bleach were missing from the apartment.

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