DANVILLE, Va. – Authorities have arrested the person, a juvenile, they believe is responsible for Friday’s fire at a Danville shopping center.
The fire inside the Ballou Park Roses Express Store was deliberately set by a juvenile who was in the store as his or her mother shopped, according to Danville Fire Marshal’s Office and the Virginia State Police.
The juvenile reported smelling smoke to the employees who found the fire and then began evacuating employees and other shoppers, according to the Danville Fire Department.
Two employees tried to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher; however, they were unsuccessful.
Authorities said that there were several witnesses, as well as video surveillance footage that aided the investigation.
The juvenile has been taken into custody and Lt. Richard Guill, with the Danville Fire Department, said the name and age of the suspect will not be released.
The Danville Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at Roses Department Store at 653 W. Main St at 5:30 pm Friday.
When crews arrived, they found light smoke coming from the front door that quickly changed to heavy black smoke and fire engulfing the inside of the structure.
The business sustained heavy fire damage throughout the structure.
The businesses on either side of the fire building sustained smoke and heat damage as well as water damage.
Those businesses include Dollar General, ColorTyme Rentals, and Charms.
Five engines, two ladder trucks, a safety officer and a Battalion Chief responded. Danville Life Saving Crew, Danville Police Department, and Danville Utilities assisted in handling this incident. Units were on scene five and a half hours. No injuries were reported.