Ali Warrayat, 24, of Gilbert, Arizona went out for a drive on December 18th that ended up in the paint department of the Chandler Home Depot. Warrayat, whom police say used to work at the Home Depot in Chandler, and still works for the giant retailer at another location, drove his four-door midsize car through the front entrance, down the store’s middle aisle, turned a corner, went up the paint aisle, and stopped his car at the paint mixing desk, giving new meaning to the term “drive up” service. Warrayat then lit his car on fire, and walked out of the store. News accounts say Warrayat was a “disgruntled employee”, but no further details were available. The Home Depot had not yet opened for business at the time, and no one in the store was injured. Hazardous materials crews had to be sent into the store, because Home Depots are a giant repository for liquid and solid flammables, corrosives, oxidizers, and other hazardous materials. Hazmat crews found no contamination in the store. “It’s absolutely bizarre,” one witness said. “If that would’ve happened during normal business hours, 50 to 100 people could’ve been killed, easily.” Warrayat was arrested on suspicion of arson and aggravated assault.
Warrayat may have been encouraged to drive through the paint department by Home Depot’s current slogan: “You can do it. We can help.” Warrayat apparently decided he could do it — get back at the company he worked for in a way they would not forget. Either that, or he was unhappy with the paint color he selected for his living room. Either way, Warrayat succeeded in shutting Home Depot down for a day. For examples of dangerous fires at Home Depot, email [email protected]