Fire in Niles Walmart considered arson

Published 1:54 pm Sunday, January 12, 2014


A fire that broke out inside the Niles Walmart early Sunday morning is being called arson, according to authorities with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department.

Sgt. Trent Babcock said the suspect entered the department store, located at 2107 S. 11th St., at 4:47 a.m. The individual then walked to the clothing department and started a fire. Once the fire was lit, the suspect went to the electronics department, smashed a display case and stole numerous electronic items, Babcock said.

The suspect then fled out the door and left in a newer model, dark-colored four-door sedan. Based on the surveillance video, the suspect  is described as a white male with a thin build, wearing brown pants, a dark colored shirt and a mask. Babccok said.

Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said no one was injured in the fire.

Niles Township Fire Chief Gary Brovold said the sprinkler system inside the store suppressed the fire, and some store employees assisted with extinguishing it. The store sustained significant water damage and some smoke damage from the fire, Brovold said.

“Right now they’re cleaning up inside, and today and tomorrow they’ll be closed. We’re looking to re-open early Tuesday,” Hargrove said. “We’re still assessing the damage done.”

Anyone with any information relating to this incident can call the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department at 269-983-7141 ext 6242.