A erupted inside a Peachtree City, Georgia, Walmart while customers were inside the store on the evening of August 24. Peachtree City officers were the first to arrive at the scene, and firefighters began taming the flames around 7:20 p.m., following multiple alarms, according to Fox 5 Atlanta.
Police officers who entered the building to evacuate customers were hit with a wall of heavy smoke, and three were treated for smoke inhalation, per USA Today. All employees and customers were evacuated before firefighters entered the store. A wall of fire engulfed the store’s merchandise and rose to the roof, which eventually collapsed.
“While fighting the fire with a large amount of water, they reported the structural members from the roof began to collapse on them, so the decision was made to back out, and the incident commander made the decision to go defensive and fight the fire from the outside of the building,” Peachtree City Fire Department assistant chief Wilbur Harbin said, per Fox.
Several customers and employees took to social media to share videos and photos of the ordeal. One employee shared a photo of a paper goods aisle engulfed in flames and another of the thick black smoke pouring through the collapsed ceiling on Twitter. “Can’t believe everything that happened at work today. The fire at the Walmart in Peachtree City, GA was started in the aisle with napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper,” he captioned his post, adding, “Everything happened so quick…Here’s a photo I took when I first saw it!”
In one TikTok video of the incident, customers can be seen evacuating the building — carts still in tow — as flames erupt behind them.
Firefighters eventually extinguished the fire in the late evening. At this time, the three police officers have the only injuries reported. The extent of the damage the fire caused is not yet known, but the Peachtree City Walmart will be temporarily closed to assess the damages. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but arson investigators did arrive at the scene, according to Fox.
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