Sturbridge Wal-Mart employee denies setting fires at store

STURBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts Wal-Mart employee accused of setting three fires in the Sturbridge location of the retail chain has denied charges stemming from the crime.

Twenty-year-old Maiya Cruz pleaded not guilty Thursday in Dudley District Court to charges of destruction of property, burning a building’s contents, disorderly conduct and breach of peace.

Firefighters were dispatched to the Wal-Mart around 5:25 p.m. Tuesday after someone reported a fire in the store’s jewelry section. A total of three fires were discovered at the scene.

No injuries were reported, however the store’s food needed to be thrown out because it was exposed to smoke and chemicals from fire extinguishers.

Police say investigators identified the Southbridge woman as a suspect after reviewing surveillance footage from the Charlton Road store.

Cruz was ordered held without bail.

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