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Teenage Walmart employee in Sparta facing arson charge for costly fire inside store

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A 17-year-old part-time Walmart employee is charged with arson and other offenses, for allegedly starting a fire on Tuesday inside the Sparta Walmart store.

The Sparta teen faces four criminal counts, including recklessly endangering safety, and property damage. In Monroe County court Wednesday, prosecutor Crystal Long called for a cash bond.

“The state is requesting a $5000 cash bond,” Long said, “with condition that she have no contact with any Walmart store, that she not possess any torches, matches, lighters, or any other incendiary devices.”

The order to stay away from Walmart applies to any store within Monroe County. The teen must also be equipped with a GPS tracking device.

The suspect did post bond. She’s a student at Sparta High School.

The Tuesday store fire reportedly caused around $7.5 million in property loss, but no injuries. That figure came out immediately, though why or how the fire was started is still unclear.

Her next court hearing on Jan. 29.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. I work at this store

    December 27, 2023 at 10:35 pm

    She did not work for Walmart

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