A Walmart in southeastern Louisiana remains closed after an unaccompanied minor allegedly used a lighter to set fire to two aisles.
The incident happened on May 30 at a grocery store in Harahan, a Louisiana suburb of New Orleans, and the store has since closed.
Authorities said the child walked into the store at about 9 p.m. with a woman, who showed on surveillance video that she was separated from the girl while she was in the store.
The same video showed the minor going into a bathroom unsupervised and, on her return, going to the women’s clothing department. Sun Herald as said.
That was when she reportedly “took a lighter from a display at a cash register” and set fire to at least one fire at the Walmart, about six miles west of downtown New Orleans.
A second aisle was engulfed by the fire, which, according to police, activated the store’s water sprinklers. That caused further damage to Walmart goods and property.
A video posted to Facebook showing the fire showed Walmart customers and staff fleeing when a fire alarm went off.
Authorities said the incident ended with the woman reuniting with the child and both left the store in a sedan, police said. Neither has been heard from since.
Due to the girl’s age, which could be between six and nine years old, no criminal charges are expected, Fox8 reports.
“As an essential store for our community, our goal is to assess any damage and reopen our store in Harahan as soon as possible. In the meantime, we are partnering with our Metairie location at 8912 Veterans Memorial Boulevard to temporarily manage our customers’ retail needs,” Walmart said in a statement to The independent.
the independent has the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.