Target arson.jpg

Investigators believe this person set fire to lawn furniture Sunday evening inside Target in Wenatchee.

WENATCHEE — Target in Wenatchee will be closed for “a few weeks” after a small fire was set inside the store Sunday evening.

“...our Wenatchee store will be closed for the next few weeks while we conduct repairs, replace inventory and work to reopen as quickly as possible,” said Target spokesman Brian Harper-Tibaldo on Wednesday.

An exact reopening date was not available.

Target was initially closed Wednesday for a “safety assessment,” and a sign posted on the entrance Wednesday indicated the store would reopen Thursday morning.

Harper-Tibaldo noted that smoke and soot damage created a concern for Target and “out of an abundance of caution we’re replacing all of the store’s inventory.”

An unidentified man lit lawn furniture cushions on fire in the store’s outdoor section, which caused a “significant amount” of smoke, said Sgt. Nathan Hahn with the Wenatchee Police Department on Tuesday. The fire was contained to the furniture.

The man, who wore a face covering while in the store, told a store employee of the fire as he exited the building. Police believe he may have started the fire as a distraction to steal store items, Hahn said.

About 70 people were inside the store at the time, but, according to Harper-Tibaldo, no one was injured by the fire.

The suspect was last seen headed east from the store on a white bicycle. He’s under investigation for first-degree arson, a Class A felony.

Anyone with information related to the fire can call Det. Caleb Aumell at (509) 888-4255.



Pete O’Cain: (509) 664-7152

ocain@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter@peterocain

Reporter

Pete O’Cain is a graduate of Central Washington University, served in the Marines Corps and covers public safety in Chelan and Douglas counties. He also leads The Wenatchee World’s wildfire coverage.

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