Saturday, January 8, 2011

The store manger met us at the front door. "We had a small fire in the clothing department" she told us. "One of the clerks put it out with a a fire extinguisher." We walked back into the store, through the hair coloring, band-aids and into the small clothing department. A light haze hung in the air, a combination of smoke and dry chemical extinguishing agent. We brought a can and a TIC with us, two small items which can do and save a lot of work.

As we neared the shelf, we could see a layer of yellow powder on the floor with an extinguisher set down in the middle of it. We looked at the shelve and could see damage to the packages on three separate levels. One of the damaged areas was definitely a separate start from the others.

I looked closer and saw that the fire was indeed out. No need for either the TIC or the can.

While I was there I took a good look and saw that there was no electrical power or appliances in the shelving unit.. I looked for evidence of a thunderstorm inside the building or for the incinerated corpse of a mouse with a cigar in his mouth or the remains of a match in his paw. Negative on both of those as well. As the shelves didn't contain any vegetable oil soaked rags or baled/compressed organic materials, I ruled out spontaneous combustion.

It looked like the fire may have been a deliberate act. Damn, it looked like our next hour or so would be spent waiting on an investigator. I made the request, fifty four minutes, thirty eight seconds later I hear the investigator go on scene over the radio.  It took her about five minutes to work her way into the big-box drugstore.

I give her the rundown on what happened, who did what, what the security camera saw and what we found. As I had once been an investigator, I helped her poke around the area of origin. 

As with any fire cause investigation, we started away from the area of origin and worked toward the place where the fire started. We looked in the aisles next to the fire and found nothing out of the ordinary. We looked through the socks at the end of the aisle where the fire occurred, nothing was amiss there either.  The bikini panty section was normal as was the shelves containing the humorous cartoon character panties. The small section of shelves containing thongs was unmolested, the only damage was to 15 or twenty pairs of cotton briefs, size L and XL.

I listened as the investigator as she used the district's $50 camera to document the area of origin. "What do you think, Schmoe?" she asked.

"I think we are dealing with a white or hispanic male, 25 to 30 years old, likely the father of  a small child" was my reply.

"I think you're full of shit" she  firmly stated.

"Maybe so" I retorted, "but whoever it was, they sure hated granny panties."

"Whatever, you guys can clear".

Maybe there's a reason I'm not in investigations any more.

Thanks for reading,


  1. I have a solid alibi Schmoe .. I swear LMAO Love the post, hope you and the family are well. Stay safe.

  2. Thanks Aviatrix and welcome back.

    Wines - That caper had you written all over it, though I know if it was you, you would have taken some of the thongs as souvenirs! Thanks for stopping by.