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'It's really surreal' | Witness recounts moments fire spread through Peachtree City Walmart

Rashawn Phon said he was shocked to see how fast the fire spread.

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — A witness was stunned to see a massive fire rip through a Walmart in Peachtree City Wednesday night. Now, Peachtree City Police said preliminary information shows the fire was intentionally set.

It caused the roof to collapse and injured several police officers in process of smoke inhalation. Rashawn Phon said he was shocked to see how fast the fire spread.

"I saw it, and my heart started going," he said. 

He couldn't believe his eyes after seeing a wall of fire and smoke down an aisle at the Walmart. 

"The whole entire aisle was just filled with fire. Coincidentally, it started on the aisle that's most likely to be burned. It's the toilet paper aisle. It has plastic goods, plastic cups, plastic plates, toilet paper, paper towels, and stuff like that," he said. 

He called 911 and said he noticed something when he got to the front of the building.

"The sprinklers didn't come on when I was walking towards the front of the building, and as I got to the front, I turned around, and the flames started to reach the top of the building already, and the sprinklers still weren't going off," he said. 

11Alive reached out to the Peachtree City Fire Department about reports of low water pressure and sprinklers not going off. They said the sprinklers did go off and firefighters used water during the fire as well.

"There's obviously a lot of smoke and water damage, but in the area of origin of the fire, it's significant water damage and a roof collapse," Peachtree City Fire Assistant Chief Wil Harbin said. 

Peachtree City Police Lt. Brad Williams said they are investigating the source of the fire right now. 

"If anybody out there has intel or information that could be helpful to the investigation, we ask that they reach out to our department and provide that information if we haven't already spoken to them," he said.

Walmart is looking to place employees at other locations and doesn't know when the store could reopen at this time. 

"It's really surreal if anything. it's not every day you see a fire in the building," Phon said. 

Three police officers went to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation, but are expected to be OK. 

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