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Fire closes Walmart in Elkin

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ELKIN, N.C. -- The SBI is leading the investigation into an intentionally set Tuesday night fire at the Elkin Walmart.

"Walmart has several cameras in use and we are hoping the SBI in their investigation will definitely look at the videos and shed some light on the suspects," Elkin Police Chief Monroe Wagoner said.

A little after 10:30 Tuesday night, a fire was set inside of the store. The Elkin Fire Department along with several volunteer fire departments rushed to the store. Walmart employees grabbed a fire extinguisher and put out the blaze. Other employees escorted customers out of the building.

"It could have been very serious for life and injury and of course property damage,” Wagoner said.

No one was hurt, the building is safe, and on a July Fourth night, the store wasn't packed. But Charles Crowson, senior manager of Walmart Corporate Communications, says the Elkin Walmart will be closed for some time due to smoke damage. Walmart customers say they are not sure where they will shop while the store is closed.

"This is the main place, the only place, in Elkin to get anything and everything. So if Walmart closed, there's nothing," one shopper said.

For Elkin Walmart shoppers, the closest Walmart is several miles away.

"Guess we have to drive to Winston or Wilkesboro or Mount Airy. Those are the closest ones," the shopper said.

Customers are confused as to why someone would intentionally set the Tuesday night fire.

The SBI is getting assistance from the Elkin Fire Department, Elkin Police Department and the Surry County Fire Marshal.

The Elkin Walmart store employees will be paid while the business is closed.