Emergency responders evacuated a Harris Teeter in Rocky Mount and treated a store employee for smoke inhalation on Friday, after teenagers lit greeting cards on fire, police said.
Employees of the store extinguished the small fire with a fire extinguisher before first responders arrived about 4 p.m., police said in a news release late Friday.
The store is in the Westridge Village shopping center, in the 3600 block of Sunset Avenue.
Rocky Mount lies along the Tar River east of Interstate 95 in Edgecombe and Nash counties, nearly 60 miles northeast of Raleigh and 225 miles from Charlotte.
First responders immediately evacuated the store “for the safety of all citizens and assessed the business,” according to the news release. Due to the smoke, an employee was treated by Nash County EMS for breathing difficulties” then released.
A 15-year-old suspect was taken into custody at the store, police said.
A 14-year-old suspect ran from the store, but officers quickly found and detained the teen, according to police.
Police said they charged the 15-year-old with misdemeanor larceny and the 14-year-old with obstruction and first-degree arson.
The Rocky Mount Police Department criminal investigation division and the Rocky Mount Fire Department are investigating the incident.
The Harris Teeter reopened later Friday, police said.
This story was originally published July 23, 2022 9:24 AM.
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