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Fire at Chesapeake store called arson

CHESAPEAKE — A fire at the Classic Food Mart outside Chesapeake was deliberately set to cover up a burglary, according to the state fire marshal.

“There was a theft that did occur and they took an undisclosed amount of cash,” said Shane Cartmill, public information officer for the fire marshal. “The fire was set to cover the other crime.”

The fire at the store, at 12867 State Route 243, was discovered 7 a.m. by an employee at Wednesday who was opening up the business.

Local fire fighters were called out but the fire extinguished itself from lack of oxygen. There were no injuries and minor damage to the store’s office.

“This is not an uncommon thing,” Cartmill said. “We see B&E and theft and then a fire set when they believe they can cover their tracks. Now we have two or three more crimes.”

Now investigators with the fire marshal’s office are asking the public for information leading to the identification of those involved.

A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered. Anyone with information is asked to call the Division of State Fire Marshal at 1-800-589-2728.