Detectives believe someone set two Fair Bluff houses on fire early Tuesday morning after breaking in and getting away with stolen items, according to Police Chief Darrell Trivett.
While the cause of the fires is still under investigation, officials heavily suspect arson, the chief said.
Emergency crews were dispatched to the houses on Enzor Street around 5 a.m. The homeowners were away at work at the time. One house was destroyed and the other badly damaged.
Some of the stolen items were located with the help of a new police dog the Wilmington Police Department gave the town of Fair Bluff, Trivett explained.
He said police had identified a suspect but no charges were pending by mid-afternoon. The chief said it's likely that additional people were involved.
The Columbus County Sheriff's Office and State Bureau of Investigation are assisting with the case.
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