Investigators say child started fire that destroyed Dollar Tree on Mahoning Avenue

Local News

The fire was started in the back west corner of the store and spread very quickly

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Fire investigators say a young child is responsible for a fire last month that destroyed a Mahoning Avenue dollar store.

Capt. Kurt Wright of the Youngstown Fire Department Fire Investigation Unit said the child set fire to wrapping paper and gift bags in the back corner of the store.

The blaze at the 3003 Mahoning Ave. store that broke out about 1:30 p.m. Sept. 24 heavily damaged the store. Heavy smoke flowed from the back west corner of the store, where the fire was set, out the front door. Firefighters had to call in an excavator to knock the back walls down so they could get to spots in the ceiling where it was hard to get water into to put the flames out.

The store is expected to be demolished at some point.

Wright said the fire caught very quickly because the materials that were set afire are very flammable and the store did not have a sprinkler system because of its size. Once the fire spread to the ceiling, it was out of control.

No charges are expected to be filed, Wright said.

Wright said the child set the fire with a lighter they got off of one of their parents. Both of the child’s parents smoke, Wright said.

No one was injured in the fire, but the thick smoke, heat and the fact that some of the flames were inaccessible until the excavator was called in caused a second alarm to be put in.

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