Tag Archives: arson

Manhattan, KS – Sprinkler system activated for arson fire at hotel

Law enforcement authorities are investigating alleged arson and have a suspect in custody.

Just before 7:30a.m. Wednesday, the Riley County Communication Center received a call of a fire alarm at the Parkwood Inn and Suites in the 500 block of S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Officers from RCPD and Quints 2 and 3 from the Manhattan Fire Department responded to the location.  Upon arrival, fire crews discovered an activated fire sprinkler head on the fourth floor.

Fire investigators determined an unknown item was ignited near the sprinkler head causing it to activate. Fire loss is estimated to be $500 with the area sustaining significant water damage.

Officers arrested Gerry Phillips, 32, of Manhattan on a probable cause offense of aggravated arson. His bond was set at $20,000.

The RCPD did not release the exact location of the fire. However, an online search  indicates the fire occurred at the Parkwood Inn and Suites. at 505 MLK Jr. Drive in Manhattan.

Memphis, TN – Sprinkler system contains arson fire at Walmart

An intentional fire set inside a Memphis Walmart caused nearly $2 million in content loss, the Memphis Fire Department said.

On Sunday, the MFD responded to a fire at the Walmart on Austin Peay Highway at 3:11 p.m.

Qwanesha Ward of the MFD said that the fire was intentionally set on Aisle 18 near the electronics department and was contained by the store’s sprinkler system.

However, the fire still led to $1.8 million in content loss and $10,000 in building loss. The store has smoke and water damage.

MFD said that the store will likely be closed until the end of the week.

Burlington, VT – Sprinkler system activated for arson fire outside Senator’s office; No injuries reported

A man was arrested Sunday for allegedly lighting a fire outside the Burlington, Vt., office of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), authorities said.

Shant Soghomonian, also known as Michael Soghomonian, is charged with using fire to damage the building, according to the U.S. attorney’s office for Vermont. No injuries were reported, the office said, and a motive remained unclear as of Sunday afternoon.

Soghomonian entered the Church Street building Friday morning and headed directly to the third floor, where Sanders’s Vermont office is located, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement. Security video footage showed the 35-year-old man spraying a liquid near the door of the office, then lighting the area with a handheld lighter, the statement added.

A “significant” blaze began, engulfing the door and hindering multiple staffers from fleeing, according to a statement from the Burlington Police Department. Soghomonian then fled the building.

The fire damaged the door’s exterior, and the hallway, and set off the building’s sprinklers. The sprinkler system “largely extinguished the fire,” the police department said. Authorities responded at 10:45 a.m.

Sanders was not present when the incident occurred, according to the police department. The agency did not disclose how many staffers were in the office at the time.

In a statement, the senator said he was “deeply grateful” to local, state and federal law enforcement for responding to the fire.

“I am also thankful that none of the many people who were in the office building at the time of the fire were injured,” he added. “I appreciate the outpouring of support and well-wishes for me and my staff. We are proud to be able to continue to serve Vermonters during these challenging times.”

Soghomonian, previously of the Northridge area of Los Angeles, could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted. A lawyer “has not yet been identified” for him, the U.S. attorney’s office said in its statement.

Multiple agencies investigated Friday’s incident, including the Burlington Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Vermont State Police and U.S. Capitol Police.

Burlington Mayor Emma Mulvaney-Stanak said in a statement on Sunday that she was grateful for the collaboration, and added that her office “will continue to be in close communication as their office navigates the impacts of this incident.”

Newark, DE – Sprinkler system activated for arson fire at shopping center; No injuries reported

The fire was reported at approximately 10:45 p.m. at the Acme in The Grove at Newark, formerly known as College Square Shopping Center.

Firefighters arrived to find debris on fire in one of the aisles. The sprinkler system contained the fire, which was extinguished by firefighters.

The store was open at the time of the fire, but no one was injured.

Deputy Chief A.J. Schall said there was damage to one aisle and likely smoke and water damage throughout the store.

The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, though reports from scene indicated that two juveniles ignited paper towels and then ran out of the store.

The fire came just weeks after Acme completed substantial renovations to the store, including new refrigerator cases, new flooring and a new floral department.

Baton Rouge, LA – Sprinkler system activated for arson fire at Walmart; No injuries reported

The Walmart on Burbank Drive will be closed “indefinitely” after someone intentionally set a fire inside, the St. George Fire Department said Monday.

Just before 8 p.m. Sunday, the department was called to the store and found it had been evacuated. They were told the fire broke out in the middle of the building and “many sprinkler heads had been activated.”

Crews were able to find the fire and put it out within minutes, the department said. No one was injured.

The fire, smoke and sprinklers caused enough damage to close the store indefinitely, the department said.

Fairfield, CT – Sprinkler system activated for fire at abandoned building

Patrol officers noticed plywood missing from the doors Tuesday night.
Police say they heard a fire alarm coming from the building. Upon entering, they say the interior of the building had been badly vandalized.
They say a fire was put out on the second floor by the building’s sprinkler system.
Authorities say the vandalism is under investigation.

Ottawa, ON, Canada – Sprinkler system activated for arson fire at hospital; No injuries reported

Police charged an Ottawa man with arson Friday after an early-morning fire inside the Civic Hospital emergency department.

The department remained open and operational throughout the day.

Jean-François Lalonde, 43, was to appear in court Friday to face charges of arson endangering life, arson to property, possessing incendiary materials and breach of probation, the Ottawa Police Service said in a news release.

Police said hospital security had already taken a suspect into custody by the time emergency services responded to the fire at 6:34 a.m. The fire was extinguished by the hospital’s sprinkler system.

The Ottawa Hospital declared a “Code Red” at 6:30 a.m. because of the fire. About 30 patients had to be moved to other areas of the facility, hospital spokesperson Rebecca Abelson said.

A spokesperson for Ottawa Fire Services said a sprinkler head was activated when they arrived and firefighters helped clean up the water.

No staff or patient injuries were reported, Abelson said.

Westboro, MA – Sprinkler system activated for arson fire at police station; No injuries reported

A person was taken into custody after a fire was set in the lobby of the Westboro Police Station on Sunday night, officials said.

Crews responding to a report of a fire at the police station on Main Street around 8:20 p.m. found a smoldering fire being held in check by the building’s sprinkler systems and heavy smoke in the building, according to Westboro Fire Chief Patrick Purcell.

The police station was evacuated.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and ventilated the building.

No one was injured. Policing operations, including patrol, remain operational.

After a search, which included police K-9 units and police drones, a person of interest was located and taken into custody. That person’s name is not being released.

There was minimal fire damage to the building, but the sprinkler system caused significant water damage. Purcell estimated the damage at $250,000.

Burlington, VT – Sprinkler system extinguishes arson fire at police department

A fire at the Burlington Police Department was intentionally set, authorities say.

The Burlington Fire Department was dispatched Monday morning around 2 a.m. to the headquarters of the Burlington Police Department at 1 North Ave.

A fire had been set in the lobby, according to the police department, by Stephen A. Romprey, 62, who said later when he was questioned that he was making a point. He set fire to paper in the vestibule which is the only part of the police station that remains open at night. He was taken into custody and charged with second degree arson and reckless endangerment.

By the time fire crews arrived on scene the fire had been put out by the building’s automatic sprinkler system. Due to the amount of smoke the fire had produced, crews evacuated workers from the Emergency Communications Center, which was in a different part of the building. An emergency plan was activated to relocate the dispatch services so that 911 calls were not disrupted.

The fire and sprinkler system caused thousands of dollars in fire and water damage to part of the building, according to Burlington Police Chief Jon Murad. The water from the sprinkler flooded floors in multiple areas. About three hours after the evacuation, the Emergency Communications Center was able to operate out of the BPD building once again.

The police department is considering locking the doors to the vestibule as a result even though it includes a phone the public can use to alert authorities and a warm space that some unhoused use at night. Murad said the department is considering putting a phone on the exterior of the building.

This was the second in about a week’s time that Burlington emergency responders were targeted. On Nov. 5, an ambulance was stolen while on a call, driven about half a mile and crashed into a parked car.

Dayton, OH – Sprinkler system activated for arson fire at Walmart; No injuries reported

The Beavercreek Walmart will reopen Wednesday following a Monday evening fire set inside the store.

The Beavercreek Twp. Fire Department responded around 5:45 p.m. to the store at 3360 Pentagon Blvd. after staff and customers reported flames in the craft section and smoke throughout the store.

The store was immediately evacuated and there were no reports of injuries. Although the store remained closed Tuesday, Walmart said it was serving pharmacy customers Tuesday through curbside pickup.

The fire was contained by the automatic sprinkler system and extinguished quickly by firefighters.

Beavercreek police on Tuesday identified two juveniles as suspects, but no further information is available, police said.

“We are thankful for the swift action of first responders Monday night and for our associate’s work to get the store ready to reopen for the community Wednesday morning,”

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