Customers evacuated following 2-alarm fire at Ala Moana food court

Customers evacuated following 2-alarm fire at Ala Moana food court
Image source: Alexis Hujar
Image source: Alexis Hujar

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Fire crews rushed to Ala Moana Center following a two-alarm fire at the mall's lower-level food court Friday afternoon.

The fire was first reported around 2:35 p.m. at the Sbarro pizza, which is located on the first floor of the mall. Sprinklers went off and customers were immediately evacuated from the area.

"I was in the back doing trash pick up and suddenly there was all this smoke," said David Tran, who works in the food court. "Then we all smelled something burning, and now security is telling us we got to evacuate the building."

A total of nine companies and 34 firefighters arrived on scene, staging on Ala Moana Boulevard. Smoke could be seen from miles away billowing out of the busy shopping center. It took crews two hours to bring the fire under control.

The food court was not the only portion of the shopping center impacted by the fire, mall officials say.

"Stores located above the food court on mall level 2 and level 3 were also evacuated to ensure the safety of customers and employees. " said Ala Moana Center officials in a statement to Hawaii News Now.

The food court was reopened shortly before 6 p.m. Very little damage was seen, but there was still a slight smell of smoke in some areas.

No injuries were reported. The exact cause is unknown.

In 2011, a fire at the Panda Express in the same food court sent thick plumes of black smoke through the mall vents and caused significant damage to stores on the upper levels. That fire was triggered by an unattended wok. Following the fire, nine stores were unable to reopen for at least two days due to smoke damage.

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