by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Three people have been arrested in connection with a February Charlotte Goodwill store fire by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Arson Task Force.
The fire destroyed the entire store on South Boulevard, causing $500,000 in damage.
Authorities immediately said it was intentionally set.
Goodwill said after several months of investigation, police arrested three people Wednesday in connection to the case, including a former Goodwill employee.
Eyewitness News has confirmed one of the suspects is Brittany Williams, suspected early on in the investigation as someone authorities described as “angry” after she had been fired from Goodwill the day before the blaze.
The other two arrested were Harry Brown and Terrance Chandler, police said.
Still, company officials said they were surprised by the news of Williams' arrest.
“Brittany was very liked at the Goodwill store, and a lot of customers knew her, and they spoke very highly of her,” said Holly Cooper, a Goodwill spokeswoman.
SLIDESHOW: Damage inside Goodwill store after fire
SLIDESHOW: Scene of Goodwill store damaged in fire
Cooper said even though Goodwill did open its doors to the community once again in late August, the news of the arrests helped them moving forward with closure.
“This continues to put closure on this ordeal, but it’s not over yet,” Cooper said.
Goodwill officials stated they are grateful for the due diligence of each individual who has been working on the case.
"While the responsible parties must be held accountable for this crime, it is hard to comprehend why anyone would set out to harm our organization, which has worked for almost 50 years to help people in our community," said Goodwill in a statement.
All three suspects are in the Mecklenburg County jail.
Williams is expected back in federal court November 5th.
The store reopened in September after seven months of rebuilding.
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