Student-athlete from Georgia suspected in 20 fires at S.C. college

A student-athlete from Suwanee, Georgia, is facing arson charges in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and police say the 19-year-old suspect could be responsible for 20 recent fires at the University of South Carolina Upstate, according to several news reports.

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Brandon Michael Burt, a sophomore on the school’s cross country and track and field teams, was jailed Monday on one charge of third-degree arson, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported.

Police had been on the lookout for a suspect in the rash of blazes since February. They arrested Burt after he allegedly set fire to a dumpster at an off-campus apartment complex March 14, WSPA CBS-7 reported.

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Burt had already been identified as a person of interest in the investigation after being spotted near some of the previous fires, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported, citing Dave Myers, the university's assistant chief of police.

Thus far, Burt has only been charged in the most recent blaze.

The fires began Feb. 20, and eight of them were set Feb. 23, according to the Herald-Journal.

Police are still investigating five fires set near the campus, plus the numerous other fires that occurred on campus, WSPA reported.

Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. Kevin Bobo confirmed that Burt was the lone suspect in all the fires, according to the AP.

He was expected to appear before a Spartanburg County magistrate Wednesday night for a bond hearing, the Herald-Journal reported.