Paper towels set on fire at Charlotte Harris Teeter, prompting evacuation

A Harris Teeter was evacuated Monday evening when paper towels were set on fire inside one of the grocery store’s aisles, Charlotte Fire said.

It happened just before 5:30 p.m. at the store on Smith Farm Road in northwest Charlotte.

A Charlotte Fire spokesperson said the building was already evacuated when firefighters arrived at the store. When crews went inside, they found an aisle with paper towel rolls that were on fire. The fire had been partially extinguished at that point.

Firefighters put out the rest of the flames and took the smoking paper towels out of the store, the spokesperson said.

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Crews ventilated the store to get rid of the remaining smoke.

In a police report, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer said the fire was determined to have been intentionally set.

In a statement, a Harris Teeter spokesperson said no one was hurt and they expect to reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

“Our teams are actively working with first responders, the health department and a third-party restoration company to ensure we can re-open as quickly and as safely as possible,” the statement reads. “We are grateful there were no injuries, and we applaud our valued associates for their swift and safe response. We anticipate re-opening tomorrow at 6 a.m.”

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