SC Man: Don't Blame Me, Blame Fire Dept.

Says firefighters checked his home twice
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2009 12:29 PM CDT
Megan Brogan, left, whose husband is accused of starting the South Carolina wildfires, looks on as her neighbor Colleen Bury describes the fires in Conway, SC.   (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)
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(Newser) – A South Carolina man accused of setting off the state's still-burning wildfires says the fire department should be taking the blame, not him. Marc Torchi says he's gotten death threats since fire officials named him, alleging that Torchi's backyard fire to burn debris started the larger blaze. Torchi said they left something out: Firefighters came to his house to put out the debris fire, then returned to make sure all was OK. It apparently rekindled four days later, the AP reports.

Torchi said he thought all was normal after the first night. "I'm not going to go to bed Sunday night, or Saturday night, knowing that something is still burning," he said. "Who's going to go to sleep Saturday night knowing there is a fire?" The wildfires, meanwhile, are about 80% contained today. The current damage estimate is $16 million.