Juvenile charged with arson in fire that destroyed business at Pigeon Forge outlet mall

The fire at the 2800 block of the Parkway was reported around 2:05 p.m. Monday. One business was lost, but several were saved.

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — A juvenile male has been charged with setting a fire that destroyed a business at the Z Buda Mall in Pigeon Forge.

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The fire on Oct. 5 engulfed the Just Stop Smokies store and heavily damaged several other businesses.

According to the Pigeon Forge Police Dept., investigators linked this fire to another that happened two days earlier at a Kroger on Wears Valley Road.

An employee saw a display smoking with the juvenile standing beside it. The employee put the fire out with water and the juvenile fled. 

Officers were able to use surveillance video and witness statements from both incidents to identify and locate the juvenile and his guardians in middle Tennessee.

The juvenile was charged with two counts of aggravated arson.

A fire destroyed a business and damaged others nearby Monday afternoon at the “Red Roof Mall” in Pigeon Forge.

The fire was reported about 2:05 p.m. at the Factory Outlet Mall at 2828 Parkway, according to Pigeon Forge Fire Chief Tony Watson. 

“Multiple agencies from the county also responded,” according to a Monday release. “The structure fire is currently under control. No cause has been determined at this time.

No one was hurt in the fire.

Watson said crews arrived to find one building at the outlet mall “well involved” with fire. The business, which had a sign outside reading “Just Stop Toys & Gifts,” was a total loss.

Crews worked to contain the fire at the one building so it couldn’t spread to others. Watson said one nearby building suffered severe smoke damage, and another appeared to have minor smoke damage.

Gatlinburg and Sevierville fire crews assisted Pigeon Forge in the response. Watson said the fire is under control, but crews will likely be working through the night putting out hot spots to ensure the fire doesn’t flare up again. He expects the deeper investigation into the fire to begin Tuesday.

Watson said the building was fairly old with no sprinklers installed, which led to the fire initially growing out of control.

Several nearby businesses lost electricity during the response, but Watson said he has determined it is safe to restore power.

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