Juvenile charged with arson in Providence store fire

Investigators said Thursday that they have arrested and charged a juvenile with first-degree arson in connection with a fire at a clothing store in late June.

In surveillance video obtained exclusively by NBC 10, shoppers are inside a Pay-Half store in Providence's Eagle Plaza when a fire starts in a clothing rack.

Providence arson investigator Paul Doughty told NBC 10 that the fire and subsequent water damage caused about $500,000 in damage to merchandise and the inside of the store.

At the time of the fire, about 7 p.m., Doughty said there were about 30 customers and six workers inside the store.

"Depending on where the fire is, it could have blocked the exit. People are in changing rooms. Parents may be away from their children. So, it caused a lot of panic in the store," Doughty said.

Aside from the damage to the merchandise and the building, workers are now out of work until late August.

Nina Soares, who works in Eagle Plaza near Pay-Half, said she feels terrible for the workers.

"I can't imagine what it must be like to not have a job, especially in the middle of summer when like right now the sales are going, and they really could be gaining a lot of business," Soares said.

The signs posted at the store say the business will reopen Aug. 19.