A Sacramento mall fire had firefighters working overtime yesterday as they battled a blaze resulting from a police standoff. The Westfield Galleria in Roseville, California, went up in flames at the worst possible time–right before the holiday season.
The galleria mall fire mess started mid-morning Thursday at GameStop after a man claiming to have a gun set foot inside the store and told employees to leave. According to police, he locked himself inside the store and started the fire. Roseville Police Lieutenant Mike Doane said:
‘He was saying stuff about his family. The staff from GameStop was saying he was more or less incoherent.’ When the SWAT team arrested him, he was hiding outside the store without a weapon.
The suspect is 23-year-old Alexander Corney Pigee (spelled Piggee by the Placer County Jail). He was booked on charges that include arson and burglary.
Although no injuries were reported, the galleria mall fire damaged an entire wing of the mall. Firefighters spent hours battling the blaze and much of the mall was charred and gutted in addition to sever smoke and water damage. The 1.3 million square foot mall was a huge part of the area’s economy bringing in $3.2 million in annual sales tax revenue. Because of the galleria mall fire started by some crazy idiot, it’s out of commission for the holiday season. Shoppers fear for the worst:
‘At the very least, they’re going to lose their ‘Black Friday,’ they’re going to lose their Christmas, some employees may not have jobs,’ said Anthony Reynolds of Kansas City, who was out to open a kiosk in the center of the mall. ‘There are kids who aren’t going to get a Christmas because of this.’