Cowpens man arrested in blaze at fireworks stand

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SPARTANBURG Co., S.C. (WSPA) — A man is accused of setting fire to a fireworks stand in Spartanburg County.

Johnny Ray Chapman, 47, of Cowpens has been charged with second-degree arson. 

Firefighters found Red Star Fireworks on Bud Arthur Bridge Road burning when they arrived on scene Sunday morning, according to a report from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.

The fire was quickly extinguished. 

Video surveillance showed a man, later identified as Chapman, walk up to the business and set hay bales on fire, the report says. 

Deputies say Chapman was still wearing the same clothes as the suspect in the video when investigators located him at his home nearby. 

Chapman invoked his right to an attorney when questioned.

Deputies are also investigating a fire on Battleground Road.

The structure fire in the 400 block of Battleground Road also occurred on Sunday morning, according to a report.  

A fire chief told deputies he believed the same suspect who set the fireworks stand on fire could be responsible for the Battleground Road fire.

Deputies say the investigation into the second fire is ongoing. 

In regards to the two fires in Spartanburg County, deputies are investigating their connection. 

A fire chief told deputies he believed they were connected.

Chapman is in the Spartanburg County Detention Center under $15,000 bond, according to jail records.

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