CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A Target in Chesterfield Valley remained closed for a week after a fie broke out Saturday, according to the company. Chesterfield Police now believe a nearby jewelry theft is connected to this fire.
The fire happened around 5:30 p.m. in the bedding department, fire officials said. Employees extinguished part of the fire before firefighters put out the rest of it.
Video recorded by Mandy Gantner shows flames coming from a rolled up blanket on a second level shelf. Gantner said smoke is what caught her attention Saturday evening when she was shopping with family. She said she alerted an employee before shooting the video.
The store was evacuated and closed for the rest of Saturday. A representative from Target confirmed the store will likely remain closed through mid-December as they assess and clean up the damage.
Monarch Fire Marshal Roger Herin said they have ruled out all accidental causes and the fire appears to have been set on purpose. He credits great training with a smooth evacuation of the store and use of a fire extinguisher by an employee Saturday evening. He said this is a good reminder to all holiday shoppers to know where the nearest exits are in case of an emergency.
Chesterfield police are taking over the investigation. Nobody was injured.
On Monday, police released surveillance photos of a man wanted in connection to a jewelry theft from a nearby Macy's. Police said the man in the photos allegedly stole $45,000-$50,000 in jewelry from the Macy's at Chesterfield Mall. Police said this happened a "short time after the fire".
Police said the same man was seen on video at the Target in the Valley.
Police described him as a man in his early 30s with a small tattoo under his left eye and a patchy black beard. Surveillance video from Target shows the man in a white four-door car.
Anyone will information on these incidents is asked to call Chesterfield Police at 636-537-3000.
There's a $3,000 reward being offered through CrimeStoppers to anyone providing a tip leading to an arrest.