PHOENIX – The Phoenix Fire Department has announced an arrest in a deadly store fire that claimed the life of a firefighter seven years ago.
The Phoenix Fire Department issued a news release Monday saying authorities had arrested a suspect identified as 24-year-old Chris Benitez in the Southwest Supermarket fire that killed firefighter Bret Tarver on March 14, 2001.
Benitez was arrested in Texas July 4.
The inferno that claimed Tarver's life started in a mound of trash behind the west Phoenix market, then roared out of control inside. Tarver got tangled in debris in the back of the store and became disoriented.
Rescuers pulled his body out of the fire just minutes before the building collapsed.
An autopsy later revealed Tarver died of burns and smoke inhalation. The 40-year-old Tarver left behind a wife and three young daughters.