Investigators say an employee was responsible for the devastating blaze that destroyed the warehouse of the Home Central store in Vestal.

Authorities say 50-year-old Richard Millard of Vestal has been charged with second-degree arson in connection with last month's fire.

Police say Millard was ordered held in Broome County Jail after his arraignment.

The blaze at the store on Stage Road was reported around 1:40 p.m. February 13. Employees and customers were able to escape without injury.

The Vestal fire department and firefighters from several other nearby communities spent hours at the scene. No serious injuries were reported.

Millard was arrested following an investigation by the Broome County Bureau of Fire Investigation and Vestal police department detectives.

The warehouse and its contents were destroyed by the blaze. The retail portion of the store on the west side of the complex sustained minor smoke damage.

The business owners have announced plans to reopen the store.

Demolition crews on the scene of the Vestal warehouse fire on February 13, 2020. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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