Fire at San Leandro Walmart prompts evacuation

- A 40-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson following a fire inside a San Leandro Walmart on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire broke out around 1:30 p.m. in the Halloween costume isle of the Walmart located on Hesperian Boulevard, according to San Leandro Police.

Lt. Robert McManus said surveillance footage from inside the store shows a suspicious man leaking a two-liter bottle of charcoal lighter fluid around the store starting at around 10 a.m. The man pulled the canister off a store shelf from the outdoor garden center.

Paul Miller was inside the store when the fire started. He sent KTVU video that shows Halloween costumes on fire and smoke filling the aisles.

You can see the store manager trying to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher 

“Once he was in the store, they saw some sort of container inside a cart that was leaking liquid as he pushed it throughout the store today,” McManus said.

The store was temporarily evacuated after the fire started in the Halloween costume aisle. Several isles remained closed after the fire was put out. Alameda County Health Department officials cleared the store of any danger and the store reopened around 5:00 p.m.

A pile of damaged costumes were removed from the store and police said there was additional damage inside.

McManus said the man suspected of arson is from Oakland. He was taken to a hospital to get checked out. No injuries were reported.

A spokesperson for Walmart’s corporate office declined to comment, referring all questions to the police department.

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