Fire Breaks Out at ZCMI Center

Fire Breaks Out at ZCMI Center

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(KSL News) A fire at the ZCMI Center caused more than half a million dollars in damages today.

It could have been much worse, if not for the buildings' fire sprinklers and the quick thinking of mall employees.

The fire started in an office tower adjoining the mall that was under renovation. Workers were using a cutting torch that ignited materials on the site.

Soon people in the food court were seeing the effects of the fire as it spread into the mall's attic.

Amalia Mendoza/ Evacuated Worker: "All the smoke go inside to the food court, so we can't even breathe."

Fire sprinklers in the building went off, containing the flames to one area. But fire crews still had to go in and put out several hot spots. Mall workers also helped fire crews identify hazards that could spread the fire.

Caitlin Smith/ Evacuated Worker: "We have a photo processing center that has chemicals. There's a lab in there that's right next to where the fire was. We have a procedures manual, so I just gave that to one of the firemen."

Even though the danger was confined, the entire building was evacuated.

Dennis McKone/ Salt Lake City Fire Dept.: "Whenever you have a fire in a large structure you've got a threat, so we evacuated immediately."

No injuries were reported. The damage from the fire was contained to a single area, though water used to put out the flames caused damage elsewhere.

Dennis McKone: "We got a lot of water in the food court area right now. It's draining very well into their drain system. So I'm sure the parking levels are starting to fill up good."

The mall could reopen as early as Monday.

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