Fire that caused Walmart roof collapse now looks intentional, police say

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. — Three officers are recovering from injuries they sustained after a fire inside a Walmart in Peachtree City.

Investigators now believe the evidence points to arson.

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Peachtree City Fire Department Chief Wilbur Harbin said the fire started inside the store on Highway 54 just after 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

Channel 2 Action News was live as firefighters worked to put out the flames during WSB Tonight at 11:00.

It took hours to put out the flames, with firefighters from Peachtree City, Coweta County, Fayetteville, and Fayette County finally extinguishing the fire around 4 a.m. Thursday.


The Peachtree City Police Department said in a news release on Thursday the preliminary investigation suggests the fire was intentionally set.

The store sustained extensive damage to the interior and the roof, according to the news release.

Firefighters attacked the fire from inside of the store, but the roof began to collapse and firefighters were forced to battle the flames from outside the Walmart.

A Walmart employee who did not want to be identified told Channel 2 Action News that when she saw the fire, she started yelling for people to get out of the store.

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“Just telling them, ‘Come on! Let’s go, we gotta go!’” she said.

Three police officers were treated for smoke inhalation. The officers were released from the hospital on Thursday.

Police are now asking for witnesses to come forward.

The Peachtree City Police Department is asking for anyone with information about the cause of the fire to contact Sgt. Brad Milstein at bmilstein@peachtree-city.org, or submit an anonymous tip at 770-487-6010 or online at https://secure.coplogic.com/dors/startreport/300002794.