Police Credit Shopper With Extinguishing Walmart Fire

A 13-year-old boy is in juvenile hall today after allegedly igniting a table of stuffed animals inside Walmart early this morning.

The fire was reported just before 12:30 a.m. at 1950 East Auto Centre Drive.

About 20-30 shoppers and Walmart employees were evacuated from the store, said Corporal Shawna Celello of the Glendora Police Department.

An alert shopper grabbed a fire extinguisher from inside Walmart and extinguished the flames before the arrival of police and fire fighters, but smoke filled the store, Celello said.

Police interviewed eyewitnesses, reviewed surveillance footage and observed the teen on video setting fire to the stuffed animals, Celello said.

The juvenile was located outside the store and arrested.

Police did not know why the teen was out at that time with his family, but noted that it is not uncommon for shoppers to be at Walmart around that time. Police are unsure if the teen has any criminal history, Celello said.

An employee suffered shortness of breath due to the smoke and was taken to an area hospital for treatment. That employee has since been discharged.

James DeMond, head of investigations with Glendora Police, said the teen is being held at Los Padrinos Juvenile Hall and could be in court no later than Friday, Nov. 7.

Zak Bushey contributed to this story.

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