Galleria at University Square fire still under investigation; set to open Friday morning

(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Fire Department said Thursday that the cause of the Galleria fire is still under investigation.

Capt. Brett Knapp confirmed that the blaze was confined to an exhaust duct that was connected to “a cooking appliance.”

Chester’s Kitchen and Bar management said Wednesday that they believed the fire started in a duct above the restaurant’s wood-burning rotisserie.

The Galleria and skywalks will open at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, however it’s up to each individual store and business whether or not they will open.

(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Fire Department responded to a call at the Galleria in downtown Rochester Wednesday morning.

The mall remained closed all day and no word yet on when it will open back up after a fire caused the building to be evacuated and closed off parts of Broadway and 1st Avenue for the better part of 4 hours Wednesday morning.

7:45 am workers at the Galleria were just starting their shifts for the day.

“All of a sudden you kinda show up thinking you’re going to be busy for the day, and then you spend two and half hours outside watching fire trucks and fireman run around the building putting stuff out,” said James Harden an employee at Bravo Coffee inside the mall.

Harden was doing is normal routine when he got into work.

“All of a sudden the alarm started to go off. We thought they were doing a test. We kinda stayed there for a little bit and then finally after about ten minutes somebody came by and said no there’s an actual fire. Said ok and then we started to pull everything close and as we got to the first floor we started to see smoke,” said Harden.

Fire crews arrived just before 8 am

“First arriving units were able to notice the smoke at the top of the building. When we were inside we were able to find some smoke conditions on the first and second floor as well as some fire sprinkler activation,” said Captain Brett Knapp with RFD.

And were able to locate the fire quickly.

“Crews began focusing their efforts on a couple of the restaurants inside. We were sorta able to locate what we believe was the problem. And it was some fire that was involving the vent system in the building,” said Capt. Knapp.

Titan Development & Investments, the management company of the Galleria, released the following statement:

“On Wednesday morning we were notified of a small fire that had occurred within the kitchen of Chester’s restaurant. The fire was quickly contained by the Rochester Fire Department. Titan Development is working diligently with the Rochester Fire Department to assess damages and ensure the safety of the building. The Galleria will remain closed while the building is accessed for damage and to allow time for smoke and water mitigation. 

We are relieved to know that the building was evacuated quickly and that no injuries occurred. Our sincerest gratitude goes out to the Rochester Fire Department for their swift action in handling the situation.”

According to the management team for Chester’s. They say fire may have started in the air duct for their wood burning rotisserie. They said their main priority is quote “safety and people.”

No injuries were reported, and the extent of damages are not yet known.