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MORE INFORMATION: Destin Dollar Tree fire
DESTIN -- DESTIN - A dollar store in Okaloosa County is closed, after an overnight fire destroyed a lot of its merchandise. The Dollar Tree in Destin, on Emerald Coast Parkway was heavily damaged. Investigators believe the fire was no accident.
Laura Hussey "From the outside of the Dollar Tree here on Emerald Coast Parkway in Destin, things don't look too bad. You can see the caution tape is still up. That damage to the front door was actually done by firefighters as they tried to force their way inside"
Right in the middle of Destin, the Dollar Tree is popular with locals and visitors. Snowbird Beth Neve found such good deals on Christmas things she came back to shop for more.
Beth Neve "I just was going to go in and buy something and they said they'd had a fire"
Michael lives in the neighborhood, and says he shops here several times a week.
Michael "I'm retired and that's where my....fixed income. That's the way it is."
A Battalion Chief from the Destin Fire Control District says there was more than two-hundred-thousand dollars of merchandise in the store. Between damage from fire, smoke, and the sprinkler system, it may be a total loss.
Michael "It's too bad because they have so much, all the foodstuff and everything else"
The Fire Marshal and the Sheriff's Office are investigating. They say there's evidence of burglary and arson. It's not the holiday spirit shoppers were in the mood for.
Beth "That's too bad, 'cause it is a nice store"
Some employees may be able to work in other Dollar Tree stores. Regular customers will have to shop somewhere else for a while.
Michael "It's too bad, because a lot of retirees show up there, all the old people like me"
Laura Hussey "The Battalion Chief told me firefighters got here about midnight. They didn't leave until 4 in the morning"