Deputies: Fire at Fresno County market started during burglary

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- A burglary ends in a blaze.

Charred debris was scattered at the scene where Fresno Sheriff's deputies say thieves went in to steal lottery tickets and cigarettes but left behind thousands of dollars worth of damage.

"It's so unfortunate to have someone out there working hard and trying to make a living first to get robbed, now to get burned out," said public information officer, Tony Botti.

Fresno Firefighters were called to a fire at Hansens Grocery Store off Mckinley and Bryan Avenues after 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Investigators say based on the owner's surveillance video the thieves used a stolen Nissan pickup truck to get inside.

"A Nissan pickup truck pulled up to the front of the store, hooked up to the security door ..ad started to pull away, eventually ripping it open," Botti said.

The suspects took off, and moments later, the truck burst into flames, spreading to the store.

"It does appear that it started in the vehicle marked under there," said fire inspector Andy Isolano. "We understand there's a little bit of history; they had a previous break-in."

Fresno Sheriff's investigators recently released this video of the brazen armed robbery that occurred at the market early July. The suspects for that crime are still outstanding.

Botti says they're now looking through video in hopes of identifying the people responsible.

"We want to get to the bottom of what exactly caused the fire...whether it was the car or they intentionally set it," he said.

Fire officials say they were able to work quickly and limit the fire damage to just the front of the store.
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