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Video: Fire that ripped through Ga. Walmart being investigated as arson

Parts of the roof caved in, forcing Peachtree firefighters outside


Photo/Peachtree City Police Department and Peachtree City Fire Rescue

Tanasia Kenney
The Charlotte Observer

UPDATE: (11:33 a.m. Aug. 26 CDT)

A massive fire that ripped through a Walmart supercenter in Peachtree City, Georgia, is being investigated as possible arson, police and fire officials said.

“Preliminary investigation suggests the fire was intentionally set,” authorities said in an Aug. 25 statement. “Thankfully, no one was seriously injured because of this fire.”

ORIGINAL REPORT: Thursday, 3:50 p.m.

PEACHTREE, Ga. — Black smoke filled the sky as a fire tore through an Atlanta-area Walmart, sending three police officers to the hospital, local news outlets report.

The blaze erupted around 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, inside the Walmart on Highway 54 in Peachtree City, police and fire rescue officials said.

Flames engulfed much of a retail area near the back of the store where the fire is thought to have started, WSB-TV and WGCL reported, citing Peachtree City Fire Chief Wilbur Harbin. Crews initially tried battling the flames from inside before parts of the roof caved in, forcing firefighters outside as they worked to get the fire under control.

Videos posted online show heavy smoke billowing from the supercenter as fire alarms wail in the background.

Multiple agencies arrived at the scene to assist, including Coweta County and Fayette County fire officials, according to WXIA. No firefighters were hurt.

Peachtree City officers also responded, some of whom were hospitalized after inhaling too much smoke.

“Three officers made entry to the building to help facilitate evacuation and were affected by smoke inhalation,” Peachtree City Assistant Chief of Police Matt Myers told McClatchy News. “They were transported to Fayette Piedmont Hospital, where they were treated and discharged later that evening.”

A shopper was treated for a medical issue at the scene and later released, WSB-TV reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation as officials work to determine if it was an accident or set intentionally. Authorities are now asking anyone with information on the incident to come forward.

The Walmart will remain “temporarily closed until further notice,” according to a statement posted on the store’s Facebook page. Residents are advised to visit the Newnan location.

Peachtree City is about 30 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta.


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