FOR SEVERAL MONTHS NOW, FIREGEEZER HAS BEEN DOCUMENTING a continuing, and suspcious, trend of working fires at “dollar stores” nationwide. Here is our September update:
Lubbock, Texas, Sept. 12:
Lubbock firefighters were faced with two major fires during the night of Sept. 11/12, both of which were labeled as arsons. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports:
The second fire started about midnight in the Dollar General store in the 8800 block of Indiana Avenue. Nelson said fire marshals believe the fire was started intentionally and are investigating it as an arson. Nelson said the fire completely destroyed all of the merchandise in the store and caused extensive damage to the structure of the building in the Melonie Square Shopping Center.
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Itasca, Texas, Sept. 14:
The Hillsboro Reporter filed:
Firefighters from Itasca were called to the Dollar General Store on East Main Street in Itasca.
The initial 9-1-1 call was received by the Hill County Sheriff’s Office at 6:03 p.m. Monday, September 14.
According to Itasca Police Chief John Griscavage, clothes at the business were on fire. Rocky Brady used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, and the items were removed from the business by Sergeant Ted Walton. Damage was reported to the clothes and the ceiling where the fire started.
A juvenile believed to have been involved with the fire was located and transported to the police department. He was released to his family following processing, according to the chief.
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Muncie, Indiana, Sept. 16:
A fire broke out in the overhead sign of the Dollar General Store in the White River Plaza shopping center. It started in midday when the stores were open and patrons heard a loud “poof” sound that was followed with smoke and fire pouring out of the sign. Within moments, the fire extended into the roof of the dollar store.
Muncie Star Press
The collection of shops in the center were subdivided within a vacant supermarket building that was sprinklered. All of the fire damage was limited to the exterior, but inside the dollar store and an adjoining beauty parlor had smoke and water damage. Read the Muncie Star Press for MORE.
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Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sept. 30:
Two Tulsa police officers narrowly escaped a disaster Wednesday night while they were in a shopping center parking lot filling out reports. Seeing some movement, the watched a man on the roof of a dollar store toss a propane tank over the parapet to the pavement below. Then they saw a fire burning on the roof.
When the police and firefighters got up on the roof, they found a drunk and uncooperative man up there.
KRJH-TV has the video report:
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Chicago, Illinois, October 1:
In Chicago where everything is bigger, they’ve also logged in the largest dollar store fire of the past month. The Chicago Sun-Times briefly describes the incident:
About 6:50 a.m., (firefighters) responded to a fire in a dollar store at 3952 W. Cermak Rd., according to police. The Super Dollar & Up is listed at that location. The fire was elevated from a two-alarm fire to a three-alarm fire about 7:30 a.m., according to Fire Media Affairs spokesman Quention Curtis.
The fire was contained to a L-shaped corner of a strip mall on the far west end of Cermak Road, which is propped near some older storeftonts that run north on Pulaski, according to Fire Media Affairs Chief Kevin MacGregor. Crews worked to keep the fire from spreading to stores that ran on other side of the strip mall. Firefighters were able to douse the flames by 8:10 a.m.
Local fire videographer Steve Redick was quick on the scene and recorded some excellent video of the fire: