UPDATE: Four Fires Set Inside Coop Natural Foods Store
Sioux Falls Fire Marshal Dean Lanier says the fire that damaged the Co-op Natural Foods store at 2504 South Duluth Avenue was caused by arson.
A burglary that netted a small amount of cash escalated when whoever committed the burglary started a fire before leaving. The fire was first reported around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, and fire crews had it under control in about five minutes.
However, extensive smoke damage destroyed more than $100,000 in inventory.
Sioux Falls Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Mike Top says a burglar or burglars set four fires in the store. Two of the fires were set in the office. One fire was lit in an aisle using bags of cookies. The fourth fire charred a display containing potato chips. Top says the heaviest damage was in the area where the chips were set on fire because the vegetable oil served as the best fuel and provided the majority of smoke damage. The Battalion Chief also says the fires mostly burned out on their own.