14-year-old girl charged with arson in Walmart fire
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A 14-year-old girl has been arrested and charged with arson after a fire at a Walmart in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, local police confirmed to CBS News. The preliminary investigation found the fire was intentionally set in the paper goods aisle of the store, the Peachtree City Police Department said in a press release.
Several eye-witnesses helped by reporting what they saw in the store during the fire. Using the witnesses’ information, along with security footage that was eventually recovered from damaged servers inside the store, police identified the 14-year-old as a suspect.
Police said the teen, who has not been named, admitted to starting the fire when police executed a search warrant at her home on Tuesday. She was taken into custody and charged with Arson in the 1st Degree.
Police previously said they responded to the August 24 fire at approximately 7:20 p.m. The Peachtree City Fire Department battled the flame for hours; with help from Coweta County, Fayetteville, and Fayette County Fire Departments, the flames were finally extinguished around 4 a.m. the next morning.
Responding police officers who went inside the burning structure were treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation. There were no other injuries, but the store suffered damage to its interior and roof. There is no timeline yet for the store’s reopening, police said.
The police department said there was no evidence of a specific motive or of participation in an organized activity.