walmart fire kitchener

Someone keeps setting toilet paper on fire inside Ontario Walmart stores

Some people like to eat peanut butter with pickles, some people like to explore abandoned factories, some people like to dress up their cats and some people, at least one of them, enjoy going to Walmart and setting fires in the toilet paper aisle.

We've all got our little quirks, and far be it from me to judge anyone's — I have, in fact done all of the above things, save for the latter activity.

But you know who can judge? A judge.

Waterloo Regional Police announced Friday morning that they have arrested and charged a 42-year-old woman "in connection to fires set at businesses in Kitchener."

The businesses in question were the Sunrise Shopping Centre and the Walmart location within that shopping centre. Fire officials confirmed to CTV news that "a small fire was intentionally set in the toilet-paper aisle" of the aforementioned Walmart.

Emergency responders were first called to the scene at 1400 Ottawa Street South in Kitchener for another fire that had reportedly been set in a garbage can outside the mall.

"On September 9, 2021, at approximately 9 p.m., emergency services responded to a garbage bin that was set on fire outside of a business at the Sunrise Shopping Centre," wrote police in a news release issued this morning.

"While responding to the scene, emergency services received another call about a fire located inside of another business at the shopping centre. The business was evacuated, and both fires were extinguished by the Kitchener Fire Department."

Police determined that both fires had been set intentionally, though no motivation has been released.

The suspect initially fled the area, but authorities were quick to locate and charge the Kitchener woman with two counts of arson, mischief over $5,000, theft under $5,000 and obstructing police. They say damage to the store is estimated at roughly $3 million.

But here's where the story gets truly weird: This isn't the only KW-area Walmart to have experienced a toilet paper fire, nor was it the first time this particular Kitchener Walmart Supercentre was victim to an alleged act of arson in the toilet paper aisle.

Just over one year ago, in October of 2020, the very same Walmart was forced to close for nearly a month after a fire was set in its toilet paper aisle. Toilet paper fires were also set that same evening inside Waterloo's Bridgeport Plaza Walmart and a former location in Kitchener's Stanley Park Mall.

All three locations sustained significant damage as a result of the toilet paper aisle fires but, fortunately nobody was injured. Police have confirmed that there were no injuries as a result of last night's fires, either.

It is not yet known if the most-recent fires at Sunrise Centre are linked in any way to the three Walmart toilet paper fires of October 20, 2020, but I mean... weird coincidence (on several levels) if not.

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