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Huntsville arson investigation grows with fire at MJ’s Quick Stop building

Updated: Apr. 2, 2020 at 9:29 AM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - A Huntsville business caught fire early Thursday morning, and fire investigators say it was no accident. Huntsville Police believe this is not only an arson case, but connected other arson cases in the same area.

Huntsville Assistant Fire Marshal Al Jennings told WAFF the fire call came in around 6 a.m., and crews were able to put the fire out in about 10 minutes.

The building is not destroyed, and no one was inside when crews arrived.

Most of the damage is to the outside of the building.

Cousin of the building owner Kyle Jennings said the building was roughly a week away from re-opening as a restaurant.

He said his cousin is “devastated.”

Capt. Mike Izzo said the fire is connected to a series of arson cases in the neighborhood.

It at least the 11th fire in the area the department is investigating. A series of empty homes, a car and a dumpster have also been targeted.

Izzo said the suspect is a heavy set black male that’s around 5′6″ tall. He said investigators believe the suspect was riding a red bike. The suspect was wearing a red hoodie with long black pants.

Huntsville fire marshal Dan Wilkerson says they are investigating a new arson case on Poplar...
Huntsville fire marshal Dan Wilkerson says they are investigating a new arson case on Poplar Avenue.(WAFF)
Here are the addresses Huntsville Police say have been targeted with arson. 708 Poplar Avenue...
Here are the addresses Huntsville Police say have been targeted with arson. 708 Poplar Avenue is the MJ's Quickstop building.(Source: WAFF)

Huntsville City Council President Devyn Keith said the series of fire represents ”regressive step" for the community.

“For a small business to have the expectation to have the coronavirus now, having to push back the opening date and to now deal with a fire, an arson, it’s frustrating and it’s unacceptable," he said.

Huntsville Police are asking for anyone with information to reach out to the Criminal Investigative Division at (256) 427-7270.

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