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7-year-old suspected of starting fire in Nogales Wal-Mart

Posted at 4:42 PM, May 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-05 21:39:40-04

A 7-year-old is suspected of starting a fire in a Nogales Wal-Mart on May 4th around 10:45 p.m.

The same 7-year-old is possibly connected to two other fire incidents inside the same store prior to March 14th. 

Nogales Fire Department responded to the store after hearing reports that smoke was seen on the east side of the store. 

When they arrived, thick smoke was seen near the garden and hardware department. 

Several shoppers were evacuated. Two Wal-Mart employees extinguished the fire. 

Store employees told officers that a young boy was seen on surveillance setting fire to merchandise in the hardware and paint area with a lighter.

In a second incident on March 14th, officers also located lighter near the fire and saw surveillance of the same boy and his 11-year-old brother running from the scene. 

Officers located the 7-year-old in the store parking lot.

His mother told officers she was separated from the boy for a "few" minutes and said she was not involved in setting the fire.

The mother said she would seek an attorney and did not want police to speak to her son.

No arrests were made but charges of arson, criminal damage, and endangerment were referred to the local juvenile probation department.

Wal-Mart remained closed for the night for clean up and smoke inhalation risk.

No employees or shoppers were allowed back in the store until the following morning. 

Wal-Mart management informed officers that an estimated $30,000 in damages were incurred from the incident.