ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The popular retail chain that was damaged in a late November fire is set to reopen Thursday in a new spot. It comes just days after the person police say set that fire appeared in court on federal charges.
Workers filed into Old Navy’s new, temporary location on Cutler, between Walmart and Dollar General, early Thursday morning. The original location, nestled between two shoe stores in the same Cutler strip mall, is still under renovation. Firefighters say there’s extensive smoke and water damage after flames swept through the store and police say David Hickman is responsible.
An Albuquerque officer was on patrol nearby when he says he heard a series of small explosions. When he drove towards Old Navy, he found a car in the lot he hadn’t seen earlier. That’s when the officer says he saw someone running into the store.
Police say it was David Hickman and arrested him after he left the parking lot. They report finding guns, ammo and explosive materials in his car.
Hickman pleaded not guilty to using fire to damage or destroy a building in interstate commerce. That’s a federal charge.
The state also linked Hickman to the $9 million fire at The Carlisle, the overnight attacks on three Starbucks, a Barnes and Noble and a pro-life ministry, but has yet to charge him.