CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The fire that destroyed a Goodwill store on South Boulevard on Thursday night was intentionally set, according to officials.
The fire broke out just before 10 p.m. There were no reported injuries and firefighters said no one was found inside the building.
Charlotte police say two masked men broke into the store and set it on fire.
The incident is under active investigation. The damage has been categorized as a total loss, and the store will be closed until further notice. Company officials say it could take four months before the store reopens.
Fire officials said the store suffered $500,000 worth of damage.
For someone to set a fire in a place like this whose goal is to help people who are economically challenged, it's not just a tragedy for Goodwill, said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Chief Fire Investigator Paul Wilkinson. It's a tragedy for our whole community.
Police shut down the 6600 block of South Boulevard in both directions while fighting the fire but reopened it in time for the Friday morning commute.
A nearby business owner told NewsChannel 36 he called 911 after a man burst into his store shouting about dark smoke coming from the building.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.