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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Shoppers were evacuated from the Walmart on Sparkman Drive after a fire started in the craft department on Thursday morning.
Robert Charles Makowski (Madison County Jail)
Huntsville Police asked for the public’s help to identify a man wanted for questioning in connection with the Walmart fire and for a second fire that happened at Michaels on Airport Road on Thursday. They said that thanks to a tip on their post, the man was identified. Police say Robert Charles Makowski is charged with two counts of first-degree arson. Makowski is currently being held in the Madison County Jail and bond has not been set at this time.
Captain Frank McKenzie with Huntsville Fire & Rescue (HFR) said around 9:15 a.m. firefighters were called to the store on a report that a rooftop AC unit was on fire. When officials arrived, they learned the arts and crafts department caught fire and the sprinklers went off. People were evacuated into the store parking lot and the store was closed when firefighters arrived. Capt. McKenzie says that the area that burned was roughly eight feet in length, six feet deep, and ten feet tall. He says there is standing water in the building that covers approximately 12,000 square feet. Walmart was closed on Thursday. The Sparkman Drive Walmart told WHNT News 19 they re-opened at 8 a.m. Friday. The fire department is still investigating the fire.