Fire Interrupted Shoppers at Macy's in Rochester

Created: 04/19/2014 3:00 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Fire interrupted shoppers at the Macy’s Store at the Apache Mall in Rochester this morning.

According to the Rochester Fire Department, the incident started around at 10:00 am and store employees evacuated customers shortly after.

The dense smoke was coming out of the west side of Macy’s.  The fire was found where the store’s trash compactor and dumpster was located.  The store’s fire sprinkler kept the fire from spreading into the store. Authorities called Pulver’s Tow Service to haul a huge dumpster out of the site.

Rochester Fire Deputy Chief Steven Belau says the firefighters were severely hampered by two things:

“1. The dense smoke produced by a huge amount of burning plastics.  The garage area that houses the dumpster has only one way in and that’s through the overhead garage door on the outside of the building.  Firefighters going by feel found the door opener buttons on the wall inside the loading dock that operated the overhead door.  Once that door was open, the smoke was able to escape the building.

2. The complex construction of the machinery involved in the fire.  Firefighters using hose streams were able to push the flames back into the dumpster, but because of the complex series of metal pieces and angles between the compactor and the dumpster, the firefighters could not apply water directly to what was burning.”

Macy’s Store opened up again around 11:30 am. Employees though continued to clean up water from the sprinkler system in the loading dock area.

Direct flame damage was limited to the compactor and the paint of the trash dumpster.  Minor smoke exposure occurred in the loading dock area.  Damages are estimated not to exceed $25,000 at this time.

The Rochester Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire. 

Shoppers were interrupted by a fire at the Macy's Store in Rochester this morning.