COBLESKILL - Schoharie County's largest grocery store is closed after a suspicious fire occurred at Wal-Mart over night, prompting the Cobleskill Police Department to open an investigation into the matter.
Receiving the call at approximately 11 pm last night, the Cobleskill Police and Fire Departments responded to the scene. Upon arrival, all employees and customers had been evacuated from the store and no injuries were reported.
The Richmondville Fire Department also responded to the scene. The fire was contained to a small area of the store. The fire was suppressed and minimal fire damage was noted. There was also smoke and water damage noted to the contents of the store. The store is closed at this time, and it is not known when the store will re-open.
The Cobleskill Police Department was assisted at the initial scene by the New York State Police, the Schoharie County Sheriff's Office, the New York State Environmental Conservation Police, and New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services OFPC Fire Investigators, the County Fire Coordinator, and members of the Schoharie County Fire Investigation Team (FIVES Team).
Once the fire scene was investigated, evidence showed that the fire was intentionally set by an unknown male suspect, who fled on foot in an unknown direction. The area was searched with negative results. The Cobleskill Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation into the incident, and the investigation is on-going at this time.
If anyone witnessed anything or may have any information regarding this incident, please contact Lt. Investigator Jeffery Brown at 518-234-2923.
Employees of the national supermarket chain were posted in the parking lot this morning and afternoon, alerting customers that the store is closed with no date of re-opening set as of now.