A volunteer Junior Firefighter with Brunswick Volunteer Fire Department was one of three suspected arsonists in the custody of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office.
Zachary Paul McPherson, 18, who was with the fire department, was charged with three felony counts of burning an unoccupied building and three counts of breaking and entering. He is being held under $150,000 secured bond. His address was listed as 18329 Peacock Rd., Whiteville.
Also charged were Joshua Michael Sutton, 16, of 18003 Peacock Road. He was also held under $150,000 secured bond on the same felony charges.
A juvenile petition is being sought for a 14 year old on the same felonies.
According to sheriff’s office spokesperson Michelle Tatum, investigators were called to a fire at 58 Carl Stephens Road around 10:30 p.m. on April 11. Quick response by Williams Township firefighters kept damage to a minimum, but investigators determined the fire had been intentionally set.
On April 13, firefighters were called back to the same home at 1:25 a.m., but were unable to save the remainder of the structure.
The next day, officers were called to 2064 Carl Stephens Road at around 1 a.m., which resulted in another total loss. Roseland Firefighters responded to the blaze, and determined it too was of suspicious nature.
The county fire marshal and sheriff’s office conducted the investigation, taking the suspects into custody Monday.