Police: Potential arson at Carlisle Walmart damages merchandise | Crime and courts

Carlisle State Police said they are investigating a person of interest after a possible arson attack at the Carlisle Walmart late Wednesday night.

Police said the Noble Boulevard store was closed around 11 p.m. Wednesday after the fire, which produced a “significant” amount of smoke. The fire damaged an entire aisle of merchandise and other items were damaged due to smoke, police said.

Carlisle Fire Chief Randy O’Donnell said the fire affected the company’s toy section, although the blaze was quickly extinguished by Walmart employees and bystanders.

Police said they reviewed security footage and identified a person of interest, although they are not releasing the name as they are still under investigation.

Police said damage from the fire has not been determined, but Walmart is expected to determine the restitution value of loss/damage and notify police.

O’Donnell said there were two minor injuries, with one patient transported to UPMC Carlisle and the other treated at the scene by EMS.

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O’Donnell issued a press release on Thursday saying that despite the swift actions of employees, there were concerns that many people in the store had not evacuated when the fire broke out.

“This [is] very concerning at the start of the incident that the occupants of the store in the area of ​​the fire did not evacuate,” he said. “Many took photos and videos of the fire to post on various social media platforms. The photos and videos we viewed showed no sense of urgency for an evacuation. The fire could have spread quickly with the type of combustible materials stored in this area.

O’Donnell said they are reminding residents of the importance of evacuating a fire quickly, whether they are at work, home or in a public place. O’Donnell suggested basic steps, like calling 911 to notify firefighters, sounding the fire alarm near exits to warn other occupants of danger, and using a fire extinguisher for manageable fires without putting yourself in danger.

“The bottom line from all of this is that the protection of life is more important than ownership,” he said. “The basic fire safety steps we’ve learned throughout our lives are what we need to practice to protect ourselves and our families.”

Email Naomi Creason at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @SentinelCreason