HOMETOWN — A fire at a Walmart in Schuylkill County was ruled arson on Tuesday. It kept the store near Hometown closed for 13 hours, before it was able to reopen in the afternoon.
Now the search is on to identify the people in surveillance pictures. Police think they are the ones who started the fire.
Anita Arcand and her son Joe had planned to shop at Walmart. Anita said they postponed their trip when they discovered the store near Hometown was closed due to an intentionally set fire.
“It’s terrible and it’s sad and I wish and I hope they can catch these guys.”
Joe Arcand knows the crime was brazen.
“That’s awful. Why would they do that? It doesn’t make any sense.” Arcand explained.
Investigators say the arsonists put customers, employees and first responders in danger when they deliberately set the fire. Dave Klewell was one of the firefighters who responded on the slippery roads.
“Anybody could have gotten into an accident going to the fire, so everybody is at risk when somebody starts a fire,” Klewell said.
Tom Powell lives near Wal Mart and said he is flabbergasted by the arson.
“A lot gets you to think when you see this stuff on the news of a lot of people and what they’re doing. It really gets you thinking that’s for sure.”
Lou Rubino owns a pharmacy in a nearby strip mall and said what the arsonists did was scary.
“So they could torch this place and then you have four businesses, so it makes you wonder.”
Police say they need the public’s help to solve the arson at Walmart.
Firefighter Dave Klewell hopes investigators get a break in the case.
“They should throw them in jail and throw the key away instead of a slap on the wrist and leaving them back into society.”
If you have any information about the deliberately set fire Rush Township Police would like to hear from you by calling 911.