Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Arson investigators with the St. Louis Fire Department have been called in to help determine what touched off a blaze inside an Aldi grocery store in south St. Louis Thursday evening.

Fire crews responded to a call just after 4:30 pm and found the Aldi on South Grand at Winnebago quickly filling up with smoke.

“We had a small fire in one of the aisles that we were able to extinguish,” according to Captain Earl Epstein, acting battalion chief for the St. Louis Fire Department.

A security guard who rushed in to try and deal with the fire was overcome by smoke.

The unidentified guard was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation but did not require transport to the hospital for further treatment.

Captain Epstein said it appears that the fire may not have started accidentally.

“From what we understand there are witnesses that believe they saw someone toss something in that area,” he said, noting the fire began in the toilet paper aisle. “That’s why we called our investigation unit out to take a look at it.”

Fire crews were using large fans to blow the rest of the smoke out of the grocery store, which will remain closed until further notice.

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