Police identify suspect in fire at Nacogdoches Walmart; store closed due to damage

Police identify suspect in fire at Nacogdoches Walmart; store closed due to damage
Scott Adam Gilbert, 38, of Strong Union, Arkansas was arrested in connection with a fire at a Nacogdoches Walmart. (Source: KTRE)

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS (KTRE) - The Nacogdoches Walmart will be closed for an undetermined amount of time after a man set a fire in the store around midnight Sunday, according to Terry Westmoreland, Battalion Chief for the Nacogdoches Fire Department.

Westmoreland said the fire was started with a cigarette lighter in the clothing department at the store on North Street. Specifically, underwear was ignited.

“It was a good fuel source. Hundred percent cotton. Cotton stacked up on cotton on wire racks. It was like cooking chicken on a grill,” said Westmoreland.

Officers found a person of interest still inside the store and, after speaking with the man, took him into custody. Scott Adam Gilbert, 38, of Strong Union, Arkansas, was charged with second-degree arson in connection with the fire.

Westmoreland said he questioned Gilbert, who eventually confessed to lighting the fire.

No one was injured. Westmoreland attributes that to the quick action of store employees.

RAW VIDEO: Inside Walmart during purposely-set fire (Source: Julia Gutierrez)

Employees used extinguishers on the fire. There was minimal fire damage, but it led to extensive smoke throughout the large building.

"The fire had gotten to a point to where they could just manage it.They were not going to put it out. Had they not, I think it would have been a much different story, Westmoreland said.

Today thousands of prescriptions are being filled at the Wal-Mart neighborhood location on University Drive and preparations are underway to re-stock shelves.

Detectives are investigating a fire at a Nacogdoches Walmart. (Source: Donna McCollum, KTRE)
Detectives are investigating a fire at a Nacogdoches Walmart. (Source: Donna McCollum, KTRE) (Source: KTRE)

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