A fire yesterday at Walmart in Edgewood was intentionally set, and “we do have people of interest,” said Edgewood Police Chief Darrell Sanchez.
Sanchez confirmed that multiple fires had been set inside the store, and said that his agency is working with county, state and federal agencies to investigate.
At this time, no arrests have been made, Sanchez said.
“Thanks to Edgewood emergency crews for their quick response in getting last night’s fire under control. We’re still assessing overall losses, and it’s too soon to estimate how long the store [will] be closed,” wrote Walmart spokesperson Ashley Nolan in response to questions from The Independent, adding, “We’re also working on available opportunities for store associates while we recover from the damage.”
Edgewood police officers helped evacuate the store after getting a call around 8 p.m., “and soon after the Santa Fe County Fire Department arrived on scene,” Sanchez said in a press release. Responders included Bernalillo County Fire, Albuquerque Fire Rescue and the Torrance County Fire Department, the press release says.
Dozens of firefighters and emergency responders converged on the scene yesterday as flames in the building could be seen from the surrounding area.
Sanchez said the investigation is ongoing, and urged those with information about the fires to contact the Edgewood Police Department at 505-428-3720 or Crime Stoppers at 505-955-5050.
Meanwhile, a Facebook group sprang up to help those, especially the elderly, who rely on the store for basic necessities and medications. Called “Edgewood WM Community Helpers,” the group have several people who regularly travel to Albuquerque and can help others with shopping.