One person facing arson charge after fire at grocery store in Paris, IL

Local News

PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV) – One person is facing a charge of arson after an early morning fire at a grocery store in Paris, Illinois.

Paris Fire Chief Brian Gates says crews were dispatched to the Save A Lot on Jasper Street around 2:15 a.m. Monday morning for calls of fire near the back of the building.

While crews were en route, Gates says they were advised by dispatch that there were also reports of explosions at the property.

Gates says when crews arrived, they found a fire at the loading dock area at the back of the building. Nearby propane tanks had exploded, but cages that surrounded the tanks kept them contained.

Gates says the flames were contained to the outside of the building, but the interior did suffer smoke damage so the store will need to be cleaned and items discarded. The store was closed at the time and no one was hurt, but Gates says one fire firefighter was treated for minor heat exhaustion.

According to Gates, Conan S. McArthur was taken into custody in connection to the fire and faces an arson charge.

Several area fire departments assisted in responding to the fire.

Gates reminds the public that when fire departments are on the scene of a fire or emergency, people need to stay back from the area.

Larry Tobias, President & CEO of Kirby Foods, says the plan is to reopen the store in the future.

“Very proud of all of our people in the store. They responded with great energy and enthusiasm to do whatever it took to get the store cleaned out so we can get open as fast as we can,” Tobias said.

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