Investigation continues on fire at MW Dollar General

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By Mallory Bilger

MOUNT WASHINGTON – Someone could be facing 20-25 first-degree arson charges for a fire that broke out at one of the city's Dollar General Stores Wednesday.

The fire happened at the store's 1123 Bardstown Road location shortly after 10 a.m., District Manager Dave Ehret said. The store is located in a shopping center that houses five to six other businesses.

"We can't say what the cause is. Police are investigating," Ehret said.

Mount Washington police turned the case over to the Bullitt County Sheriff's Arson Investigation Unit, Det. Buddy Stump said.

Arson Investigator Chief Deputy Danny Thompson of the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department said a person of interest was identified in the case, but declined to release the suspect's name. He also could not comment on if that person was a store employee, citing the pending investigation.

"We're reviewing the videos at this point in time," Thompson said.

Although the fire caused no major structural damage, Thompson said anyone cited for starting it could face a first-degree arson charge for every person in the shopping center at the time. He estimated that could total 20 to 25 charges. He added that the suspect would also face a wanton endangerment charge for each Mount Washington fire fighter that responded to the scene.

"We will probably go to the grand jury for an indictment," Thompson said.

Thompson said no one was injured in the fire that originated in the store's furnace room. He said the building incurred minimal damage and any customers and employees were evacuated for a short time.

Thompson said the store would probably experience a large financial loss.

"There's quite a bit of damage to their stock," he said. "Whenever there's a fire in a business like that, the health department makes you get rid of so much stuff that you lose a lot of money."

Ehret said there was no damage to the sales floor, "Just really some minor damage to the stock room is all."

As of press time Friday, Ehret said he hoped the store would reopen for business in a couple of days.