Authorities searching for three arson suspects after Walmart fire

A Starkville firefighter extinguishes flames at a fire outside of Walmart on Saturday. (Photo by Logan Kirkland, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Starkville Fire Department says three arson suspects started the fire outside of Walmart on Saturday afternoon.

SFD responded to a fire outside of Walmart Saturday afternoon around 5:35 p.m. regarding a dumpster fire at the back of the store. Upon arrival, bundles of recyclables, including cardboard, plastic and wooden pallets were in flames.

SFD left the scene around 8:30 p.m.

SFD Chief Charles Yarbrough said while on the scene of the fire, he noticed there were security cameras located on the outside of the building and asked management if he could review the footage.

While watching the video, Yarbrough and Walmart management noticed three juveniles who appeared to be smoking in the area, but then began lighting the bundles on fire.

He said they could not see their faces while watching the video, but determined they were juveniles by the way they were dressed and other social cues.

The fire was located on the far right of the building. No injuries were reported from the incident.

Yarbrough said the only damage was the fence adjacent to the Walmart property. He said if the fence was not there to contain the fire, nearby homes could have been in danger.

Although, the fence was the only damage caused by the fire, Yarbrough said Walmart lost a significant amount of money from the bundles that were destroyed by the fire.

He said 79 of the bundles were approximately $500 a piece, totaling to about $40,000.

Yarbrough said SFD is currently working with the Starkville Police Department on the investigation.

"It's important to me that we do make an arrest, because if we don't, they may do it again," Yarbrough said. "Walmart lost a lot of money"

At the scene on Saturday, SFD utilized its ladder truck to douse the flames from above and about seven firefighters.

This is a developing story, be sure to follow the Starkville Daily News for more updates.