HAMMOND, La. (WGNO) — A man accused of setting a fire in a Hammond Walmart on Christmas Eve has been arrested, according to the Louisiana Fire Marshal’s office.

Authorities arrested Terrence Michael Coe, 43, after he was allegedly seen on surveillance footage, setting a fire in the paint aisle at the Walmart in the 2700 block of W. Thomas Street.

Thanks to the quick action of customers and employees, the blaze was contained and put out.

About 500 customers were evacuated, but no injuries were reported.

Coe was booked Tuesday into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail on counts of:

  • Aggravated arson
  • Second-degree attempted murder
  • Armed robbery and terrorism

According to the investigators, Coe admitted to setting the fire so that he could steal several other items from the store.