UPDATE: Ruling Danville shopping center fire arson, officials say juvenile set blaze | Local News

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When a co-worker told ColorTyme employee Shanna Luck that Roses Express was on fire, she thought it was an April Fool’s prank.

“I thought he was playing with me,” Luck told the Danville Register & Bee at the parking lot at Ballou Park Shopping Center where the fire occurred Friday. “I thought it was a joke.”

But when she saw a fire truck, she went outside and realized the situation was serious. There were people everywhere.

“It was just hectic,” she said.

The fire, which destroyed a Roses Express store and damaged three other businesses, was arson, investigators with the Danville Fire Marshal’s Office and the Virginia State Police have determined.







Ballou Park fire

Investigators with the Danville Fire Marshal’s Office and the Virginia State Police determined that the fire April 1 at Roses Express at Ballou Park Shopping Center was arson.




A juvenile set the fire at Roses while his or her mother shopped, said Danville Assistant Fire Marshal Richie Guill. The juvenile then reported to employees they they smelled smoke, he said.

The workers then evacuated the store and tried to put out the fire.

“Employees at Roses tried to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher and they were unsuccessful,” Guill said at the scene Monday morning.

Crews from the Danville Fire Department responded at about 5:30 p.m. to the reported blaze at Roses Express in the shopping center located at 653 W. Main St.

Video surveillance footage and several witnesses helped investigators, according to a news release from the Danville Fire Department. The juvenile has been taken into custody and his or her name and age will not be released.

Roses suffered the most severe damage from the fire, but three other businesses — Dollar General, ColorTyme and Charms — sustained smoke, heat and water damage also.

There were no injuries reported.

ColorTyme owner Jeff Tepper said his business was totally damaged and he hopes to re-open at a different location within the shopping center.

“I’m going to see if I can rebuild in another spot,” Tepper said at the scene Monday morning, where his employees were also gathered. “We might be down, but we ain’t out.”

The store, which Tepper has owned for 22 years, has five employees. The business is a rental company that offers furniture, appliances and other household items.







Ballou Park fire

Investigators with the Danville Fire Marshal’s Office and the Virginia State Police determined that the fire April 1 at Roses Express at Ballou Park Shopping Center was arson.




“I was happy my employees got out OK,” he said.

Store manager Dennis Reaves agreed.

“The main concern was getting everybody out to safety,” Reaves said. “No life was lost. The main thing is nobody passed away.”

The goal now is to get everything assessed and get the business going again, he added.

Luck, who has worked at ColorTyme since December 2020, said the blaze “came fast. It happened very fast.”

“It was crazy,” Luck said.

Reaves is hoping the city “will rally and help these businesses” return to operation.

Employees at the parking lot said they plan on keeping their jobs at ColorTyme.

“We’re one big family,” Tepper said.

Customers with accounts at ColorTyme can call Luck with questions at 434-471-3841, she said.

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