Ocala, FL – Arson fire at Macy’s store extinguished by sprinkler system; No injuries reported

Police in Ocala, FL, are looking for the woman who lit a rack of underwear on fire inside a Macy’s store Tuesday morning. The suspect walked into the store’s Paddock Mall location at 10:11 a.m. and wandered around for 45 minutes. Firefighters arrived shortly after she left and saw light smoke coming from the mall’s north entrance, according to the Ocala StarBanner.

“It was a bunch of smoke rolling out and people were walking – running outside,” witness Kortnee Eubanks told WFTV. The sprinkler system had already extinguished the flames, but needed to be reset and fans were brought in to help ventilate the store.  Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Officer Meghan Shay told local media the store’s staff thought they were smelling gas.  The mall released a statement on its website Tuesday that announced the store would remain closed the remainder of that day.

“The safety of our shoppers, retailers and employees is our top priority. We are working closely with the Ocala Police Department as they investigate this incident further,” the statement said. The woman left the store, but surveillance cameras captured her vehicle, which appears to be a dark gray sedan.

Anyone who recognizes this person or vehicle should call Ocala police at 352-369-7000. Once arrested, she will face an arson charge.

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