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Two Chicago men arrested for explosion at Waukesha Kwik Trip

Posted at 9:48 PM, Nov 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 06:35:00-05

WAUKESHA — Two men have been charged after an explosion at a Waukesha Kwip Trip on Saturday.

Nakia Barnes, 27, and Devoncia Syas, 19, are both facing the following charges:

  • Unauthorized use of an entity's identifying information or documents
  • Negligent handling of burning material

The first charge is a class H Felony and is punishable up to six years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. the second charge is a Class A misdemanor and is punishable up to nine months in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.

The two men were involved in a fire that occured on Saturday at a Waukesha Kwik Trip, 924 Fleetfoot Dr..

When firefighters and police got to the scene of the fire, Officer Kenealy of Waukesha PD noticed a van near the pump where the fire started. The van was fairly burnt throughout the inside. He also discovered eight 55-gallon drums filled with gasoline in addition to a smaller drum that appeared to hold 30-35 gallons of fuel.

According to a criminal complaint, the Waukesha Fire Department believes there was a static reaction between the drums and the van carpet, which caused the explosion.

It was determined that after the explosion, the two individuals fled instead of alerting Kwik Trip personnel or calling 911.

Officer Bauer with Waukesha PD noticed a credit card laying on the ground near the pump. When he brought it into the store, he discovered the card had four gas charges. Two charges were for $125, one was for $123.28, and the third was for $50.85.

According to Barnes, the pump would stop when it reached $125 so he would have to start a new transaction to continue filling the barrels.

A detective got a hold of the debit card and after investigating, discovered the card was fraudulent. The magnetic strip did not match the information printed on the card.

Officer Kujawa, also with Waukesha PD, was advised of what one of the individuals was wearing. He began to search the area and found Barnes and Syas at a near by Dairy Queen. Kujawa asked them if they had just been at Kwik Trip and witnessed the fire. They said yes. When asked why the fled the scene, the two men stated that they were shaken up after the incident.

The two stated they used the gasoline to power generators for their entertainment business. However, after his arrest, Barnes admitted he had the barrels because he was hired to pick them up in Chicago, fill them with gasoline at a specific Kwik trip, and deliver them in Milwaukee.

This wasn't the first time Barnes had to move barrels from Chicago to Milwaukee, however it was the first time he was asked to fill them.