Vehicles catch fire in Fridley Walmart parking lot, 2 children injured, 1 arrested

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Two children were taken to the hospital Tuesday morning after several vehicles caught fire in the Walmart parking lot in Fridley, Minnesota. 

Tuesday afternoon, police announced the owner of the vehicle was taken into custody on probable cause for negligent fires. 

At 7:13 a.m., firefighters were called to the Walmart parking lot for a minivan that started on fire. The driver was shopping inside the store, and no one else was in the minivan at the time, Fridley Police Department spokesperson Lt. Jim Mork said. 

The van became engulfed and the fire spread to the two vehicles on either side. Two girls were in one of the vehicles and were unable to escape. An adult woman was also in the vehicle when the fire started, but was able to escape safely. 

Mork said the two children, ages 6 and 9, suffered burns and smoke inhalation. They were taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where one is listed in critical condition with life-threatening injuries and the other in serious condition. 

Arson and crime investigators are processing the scene. The vehicles will be taken to the Fridley Police Department, where they will try to determine how the fire started. 

Foul play is not suspected, however, police are talking with the mother of the two victims who allegedly left her children alone in the van for at least 45 minutes to an hour while she was shopping.