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Walmart Opens

Employee cars were the only ones in the parking lot at the east Flagstaff Walmart Monday morning as it remained closed after a suspected arson caused the evacuation and closure of the store Saturday.

Updated Oct. 24 at 12 p.m.: General merchandise is not open to the public at this time.

The Walmart Supercenter on East Huntington Drive opened on Thursday nearly a week after a man allegedly lit a fire in the store, starting the sprinklers and causing fire and water damage.

A third of the store resumed sales on Thursday, according to LeMia Jenkins, spokeswoman of Walmart. Customers are able to use the store's pharmacy, food, cosmetic, pet care and health sections.. However, general merchandise is not be available, and the location will close at 10 p.m. instead of being open 24-hours.

Walking into the store, a floor-to-ceiling white plastic tarp is immediately visible as it blocks off two-thirds of the store — from the cashiers to pet care. Many Halloween items are stocked and in their normal position, but many spots on the shelves are also noticeably empty, as a handful of employees worked to restock the shelves.

Many shoppers pushed their carts and explored the aisles, not paying much mind to the divider separating them from the likely burned and water damaged portions of the store.

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“We’ve been working around the clock to get the store back up,” Jenkins said on Wednesday.

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The store closed early Saturday after the fire broke out inside. Before Thursday, people had to take their business from the 24-hour supercenter to other stores in Flagstaff, including the second Walmart on Woodlands Village Boulevard.

Cody Yazzie, 20, was taken to county jail where he was accused of arson and multiple counts of endangerment. Yazzie was also found with an unrelated warrant from the Flagstaff Municipal Court for his arrest.

Yazzie remains in custody on a $250,000 bond.

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Scott Buffon can be reached at sbuffon@azdailysun.com, on Twitter @scottbuffon or by phone at (928) 556-2250.

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