Arson charges for suspect in fires at homes owned by SC gov

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A 21-year-old man has been charged with intentionally setting a fire that damaged two Columbia rental properties owned by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

Columbia police say Frank John Wilberding was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of arson. It wasn’t immediately clear if he had an attorney.

Authorities say Wilberding set a fire around 6 a.m. Tuesday on the porch of one home. The fire spread to an adjacent property, causing around $450,000 in damage and displacing at least a dozen residents.

Police Chief Skip Holbrook says officers found Wilberding shortly after releasing images of a possible suspect. He says authorities don’t think the fires were set because the governor owns the properties.

McMaster and his wife own 20 rental homes around Columbia.

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