A building at a Public Storage facility in St. Louis, Mo., was set on fire last night during riots that ensued after a grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown. The 18-year-old was killed during an altercation with the officer on Aug. 9. Brown, who is black and was unarmed at the time of the shooting, was shot six times by Wilson, a white police officer, in Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis.
Video from news sources shows what appears to be the storage facility’s management office completely engulfed in flames. It doesn’t seem that the fire spread to any of the storage units. No one was injured, according to a Public Storage spokesperson.
The facility at 9291 W. Florissant was one of more than a dozen businesses damaged or set ablaze during the protests, according to an article on WoodTV.com. Police arrested 61 people on charges such as burglary and trespassing, Brian Schellman, a St. Louis County police spokesman, told the source.
The Public Storage facility also suffered damage in August when riots erupted for several weeks following Brown’s death. The office windows and door were smashed. The facility reopened shortly after the incident, according to a blog posted by another self-storage operator who lives and works in the area.
The August shooting caused racial tension in the community and led to looting and vandalism for more than a week, followed by several weeks of peaceful demonstrations. In a Nov. 24 press conference, the St. Louis County Prosecutor announced the county grand jury voted not to indict Wilson.
Based in Glendale, Calif., Public Storage is a real estate investment trust that has interests in 2,234 self-storage facilities in 38 states, with approximately 144 million net rentable square feet. Operating under the Shurgard brand name, the company also has 188 facilities in seven European countries, with approximately 10 million net rentable square feet.