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Child may have started fire at St. Charles Walmart

Child may have started fire at St. Charles Walmart

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Updated at 1 p.m. Sunday after police said a child is suspected of starting the fire

ST. CHARLES — A small fire set to a clothing rack at a Walmart in St. Charles on Saturday was likely started by a child, police said Sunday. 

The fire about 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Walmart at 2897 Veterans Memorial Parkway created a lot of smoke but injured no one. 

When firefighters arrived, they found that the conflagration was confined to a rack of clothes in the men's department, said Mike Grzyb, the St. Charles deputy fire chief. The flames were quickly extinguished by a combination of the sprinkler system and firefighters, he said. 

Surveillance footage from the inside of the store showed a child, a boy less than 10 years old, hiding inside the circular clothing rack shortly before it caught fire, St. Charles Police Lt. Tom Wilkison said Sunday. 

The child left the store with his mother shortly after the fire began, Wilkison said. Police had not yet identified or located the child, he said.

The investigation will be referred to St. Charles County juvenile services once complete, Wilkison said. 

The store sustained extensive smoke damage and moderate water damage from the sprinklers, Grzyb said. Firefighters removed skylights to help clear out the smoke.

Wilkison asked anyone with information about the incident to call St. Charles detectives at 636-949-3320.

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