While Peachtree City police are seeking to use video surveillance files to determine who started the blaze in the Walmart Superstore paper goods section, news reports are starting to crop up questioning whether a social media app was the carrier of a sick contest to start such a fire.
One theory is that the impetus may have originated on TikTok, a wildly popular carrier of brief videos sometimes containing “challenges” to users to produce responses to things like subjecting oneself — usually teenagers or younger — to ordeals like dumping frigid ice water onto their heads.
TikTok currently carries a number of videos depicting similar Walmart fires in various cities, but none so damaging as the blaze that shut down a Walmart Superstore in Peachtree City for an undetermined repair period last week. The similarity is that most of them began as fires set in the paper goods section of the stores.
Preliminary investigation suggests the fire was intentionally set, Peachtree City police report.
The Peachtree City Fire Department, with assistance from Coweta County, Fayetteville, and Fayette County Fire Departments battled the fire from shortly after 7:20 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, throughout the night until it was extinguished around 4 a.m. Thursday.
Fire officials are saying there was sufficient water pressure available during the prolonged fire and the store’s sprinkler system did function as designed.
The store did suffer extensive damage to the interior and roof, officials said. There is no current timeline on when the store will be reopened.