Dyllin Jaycruz Gogue, 27, is accused of intentionally lighting the blaze in the lumber section of the San Jose store.
UPDATE: Dillon Jaycruz Gogue arrested by @SanJosePD, charged by @SantaClaraDA w/arson for allegedly causing @HomeDepot fire – and grand theft for swiping 45 @LEVIS worth $2,727 from @Kohls, $2,808 keyboard & guitar from @guitarcenter, 14 @sunglasshut shades worth $8,228, DA says pic.twitter.com/ynimtvEpDu
— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) April 19, 2022
The fire totally destroyed the store, causing $17 million worth of damage, according to the Mercury News.
It was so intense that it could be seen through satellite imagery from space, according to a tweet shared by the National Weather Service.
Police said the suspect had previously been arrested for shoplifting from a Bass Pro Shop outlet, according to the New York Post.
In total, Gogue faces three counts of arson, seven counts of grand larceny and three counts of petty theft, which could add up to anywhere from 14 years to life in prison if he were convicted on all of the charges, said the Mercury News.
“I’m thankful that my office, the DA’s office, is not prosecuting a multiple murder case today,” said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen, according to local KTVU News.
After Gogue lit up the Home Depot, he allegedly went on a robbery spree that included stealing 45 pairs of Levis, a guitar and a keyboard from a Guitar Center store and 14 pairs of sunglasses from Sunglass Hut, said KTVU via Twitter.
But the dollar loss from those thefts, estimated at about $14,000, was nothing compared to the loss of the Home Depot.
For the company itself, the loss can be chalked up to insurance.
But for the dispaced store employees, the fire probably marks a tragedy.
Home Depot employs 500,000 people at 2,300 locations, which averages out to about 217 employees per location. With an average pay of around $30,000 that means over $6 million in paychecks are missing from the local economy.
And that means 217 people will probably have to look for a new job as the store rebuilds.