Police treating death of man found in house fire as a homicide

Horry County Police Department's Major Crimes Unit is investigating the death of a man, whose body was found in a burned home Tuesday morning, as a homicide, according to Lt. Robert Kegler.

The Horry County Coroner's Office has identified the victim as Charles Smith, 68, of Aynor. An autopsy was performed Tuesday afternoon but the Coroner's Office still hasn't been able to confirm how Smith died. They say a toxicology report will be done and the results should be released within the next two to three months.

Investigators are looking into a possible connection between Saturday's fire at CBS Outlet , on Highway 501 East and Temple Drive, and Smith's home nearby, according to Lt. Robert Kegler.

Lt. Kegler has confirmed that Charles Smith is the owner of the CBS Outlet but says so far, there is no indication of a connection between the two fires.

Smith had been arrested in December and charged with seven counts of receiving stolen goods, according to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

Horry County Fire Rescue crews arrived on the scene of the fully involved mobile home fire shortly after it started around 2:45 a.m. at 4601 Highway 501 East.

Things found inside the home after the fire was put out led police to treat the case as a homicide, Kegler said.

Shirley and David Spach live right next door. When they woke up Tuesday morning, their neighbor's home was already lit up in flames.

"My neighbor came over, banged on the door, said move your cars, move your cars, and by the time I got awoke enough to come out, the whole place was on fire. There was just flames all the way across the roof," Shirley Spach explained.

They both say they're still coming to terms with the loss of their neighbor.

"It's just a sad thing to see and being that close to the house in proximity and knowing him...It's just stuff like that don't need to happen," Spach said.

We will continue to post updates to this story.