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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Grease fire at Park Place Mall results in evacuations, $100K in damage

A grease fire shut down business at the Park Place Mall on Wednesday evening, causing an estimated $100,000 worth of property damage and the evacuation of over 1,000 people, according to the Tucson Fire Department. No one was injured in the incident.

The fire started at about 6:35 p.m. at a McDonald’s restaurant in the mall. Pat Quinn, a public information officer with the Tucson Fire Department, said someone at the mall called to report the fire at 6:39. Units arrived on scene at 6:41 and the fire was fully contained by 6:58.

Firefighters battled the blaze from the roof, and initially evacuated only the portion of the mall closest to the fire. This evacuation was subsequently expanded as a precaution, Quinn said.

Officers with the Tucson Police Department responded to assist in the evacuation and handle crowd control. Several paramedic units responded to provide emergency services if needed.

According to Quinn, one child at the scene reported experiencing smoke inhalation. However, the child’s parents declined treatment.

Jamie Felsworth and Jessie Noells were watching “Dark Shadows” at the Century Park Place 20 and XD movie theater when the fire occurred. Felsworth said that the movie “just froze,” and people inside the theater did not know what was going on. Several moviegoers walked outside the theater to check and found people evacuating.

“Everyone was calm,” Noells said. “There wasn’t any freaking out or anything.”

When they approached the food court, they saw smoke and emergency personnel.

The mall reopened sometime between 7:45 p.m. and 7:50 p.m.

Crews with Southwest Gas and Tucson Electric Power were on the scene, checking utility lines. Representatives of Southwest Gas declined to comment; Tucson Electric Power personnel were not immediately available.

The mall’s operations manager said that stores were being allowed to reopen and refused further comment, saying that the mall wanted media coverage of the event to be “as minimal as possible.”

Officers with the Tucson Police Department and Tucson Fire Departments also declined to comment.

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