Arson suspected at 2 rental homes owned by SC governor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities suspect arson in a fire that damaged two Columbia rental properties owned by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

Fire officials say crews were called to the scene just before 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. The fire was out just over an hour later, but officials say it caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to both properties and displaced at least a dozen residents.

Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins says the fire has been deemed “suspicious,” and police have released images of a possible suspect.

McMaster and his wife, Peggy, own 20 homes around Columbia and rent many to students at the University of South Carolina. Tax records show the couple earns about $300,000 a year from the rentals.

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