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Police: Fire at Napa Kohl’s store intentionally set; suspect and vehicle sought
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Police: Fire at Napa Kohl’s store intentionally set; suspect and vehicle sought

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Authorities are looking for the identity of a possible suspect in what they called an intentionally set fire that briefly flared Wednesday afternoon inside the Kohl’s department store in downtown Napa.

Security camera images released by Napa Police on Thursday morning show a person who left the Kohl’s at 1116 First St. shortly before fire and police personnel arrived at the store, where a fire broke out at 4:38 p.m., police Sgt. Aaron Medina said in an email.

The person depicted in the two pictures is wearing a black T-shirt, gray face mask and glasses atop the head, and is carrying a tan handbag over the shoulder. Two other pictures shared by Napa Fire show a blue sport-utility vehicle possibly connected to the suspect.

Anyone with information on the suspect's identity is asked to contact Napa Police Officer Jesus Martinez at 707-258-7880 or jmartinez@cityofnapa.org

Napa Police and Napa Fire are jointly investigating the blaze, which broke out in a clothing rack in the store’s men’s section before it was snuffed out by the building’s sprinkler system about 10 minutes later. Firefighters began arriving within two minutes of the first reports of the blaze and stayed for more than 2 ½ hours, but no outside water was used on the fire, according to Napa Fire Capt. Erik Mortimore.

Smoke alarms alerted some 30 customers, who evacuated the store along with employees, and no injuries were reported, said Mortimore. “We got off pretty easy given what it could have been,” he said Wednesday night.

Kohl’s was expected to be closed Thursday as work continued to remove water from the building after the fire, Mortimore said.

Fire crews battled a serious structure fire east of Napa on Tuesday night.

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