LEBANON, OR (KPTV) – Police have arrested a 49-year-old man in connection to a two-alarm fire in the pool aisle at the Lebanon Walmart store earlier this week.
The fire Tuesday afternoon forced people inside of the store and surrounding businesses to evacuate and closed the intersection of Market Street and South Main Road, the Lebanon Police Department says,
Joel Lee Reynolds, Jr., 49, was arrested Thursday and lodged at the Linn County Jail in connection to the fire. He is facing charges of arson in the first degree and criminal mischief in the first degree.
Police say damage to the inside of the store was contained mostly to a single aisle, but the smoke contaminated a large portion of the building’s interior.
Investigators say several chemicals were mixed and then ignited. Approximately 100 Walmart employees were inside of the building at the time and an unknown number of customers, according to officers.
No injuries were reported and the estimated cost of damages is currently unknown. The store will remain closed while a restoration crew continues their work.
Reynolds was arrested Thursday without incident, according to police.
Officers say they have had multiple prior contacts with him, including in 2018, when he was arrested for theft at Walmart and was trespassing at the time.
Police continue to investigate and ask anyone with additional information to contact Lebanon Police Detective Chris Miner at 541-258-4314.
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