WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH -- Tuesday morning a fire erupted at a Wrightsville Beach condo. Police say it is a case of foul play. The owner of the burning condo was out of town when the fire started, so the home should have been empty, but it wasn't. The fire probably shattered more than just a frame -- at least that's what friends of the owners of the condo believe. Friend of condo owner Virginia Arnold said, "It's just terrible. Dottie has worked so hard with decorator to get just the draperies the right materials she just had her sofa and chairs covered recently." Deputy Fire Marshal Tom Sosebee said, "The fire was contained pretty quickly. Not any structural damage, mostly cosmetic." The fire marshal says they had the fire under control within 10 minutes. The fire started at 6:30 Tuesday morning in the laundry room, which is in the center of the condo between the bedroom and the hallway. Arnold says she thinks she knows why the fire started. "Some kid on drugs maybe. That's what they think and had no respect for the place you know, and they were just looking for warm quarters. It was a windy night and the weather was bad and I guess they found easy entry and no one around here." And it turns out her suspicion was pretty accurate. Police have arrested and charged 22-year-old Wilmington man Christopher Wayne Richards with arson, breaking and entering, possession of cocaine and criminal damage. He has been placed under a $130,000 bond. The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
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