Fire marshal: Fire at Family Dollar store started by teen



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Charges have not yet been filed against a teen who officials said started a fire at an Orange County Family Dollar store Friday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the business on Landstar Boulevard around 3:40 p.m. after a store employee called 911.

When crews arrived, they found heavy smoke coming from all sides of the single-story building.

"It had a good start. When you see a fire with black-brown smoke coming out of every side of this building, which is about 4,000 square feet, you know it had a  good head start," Orange County Assistant Fire Chief  Brian Morrow said.

Several store employees and about a half dozen shoppers evacuated the building, according to firefighters.

"They all had to run outside. The employees were crying and stuff," customer Mercedes Urdaneta said.

Officials said intense heat forced the firefighters to fight the fire from outside the building. An aerial unit was brought in to allow firefighters to work on extinguishing the flames from above.

More than 40 firefighters were called in to help control the fire.

One store employee was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, but did not require hospitalization, according to fire officials.

The fire marshal said the fire was started by a teenage boy under the age of 16. Some store employees told WFTV they saw the boy playing with a lighter near the cleaning chemicals.

Officials said the fire appeared to be an act of vandalism and that charges had not yet been filed against the teen.