UPDATE: 12/08/2021 9:15am Mall officials say that the mall is open normal hours today. No store closures are expected.
Videos from the Syracuse Fire Department have been added below the photos in this post.
Firefighters were on the scene within three minutes of a reported structural fire at New York's largest mall. The Syracuse Fire Department was called to Destiny USA at 6:37pm on Tuesday.
When they arrived firefighters say that "a very heavy volume of smoke" was coming from the roof of The Cheesecake Factory. The mall was immediately evacuated. Because of the amount of smoke involved, another alarm was sounded and an additional fifty firefighters were called to the scene.
Syracuse Fire Chief Michael Monds says firefighters had several obstacles to overcome while fighting the fire. First, they say that two nearby fire hydrants were broken and firefighters had to look for alternate hydrants to secure a water supply. They say "the broken hydrants did not impact the operation."
The second challenge was presented by evacuees who, in their effort to get away quickly, drove over firehoses.
According to a release from the Syracuse Fire Department:
"Firefighters gained access to the roof utilizing interior stairwells and a 110’ ladder truck. Once on the roof, firefighters discovered a large area of roofing material (approximately 20’ x 50’) on fire. It took more than 45 minutes to completely extinguish the blaze. Several sections of the roof had to be cut open with saws to check for, and extinguish, any hidden pockets of fire. The utilities for that portion of the mall had to be shut off. Although there was a light smoke condition inside the mall, the bulk of the fire damage appears to be limited to the roof."
No injuries were reported as a result of the fire. They are still working to determine the cause.
In addition to Syracuse Fire and Syracuse Police department, several other agencies responded to the fire including American Medical Response (AMR) of Central New York and National Grid.
The Syracuse Fire Department is using this opportunity to remind citizens not to drive over fire hoses and calmly exit buildings and parking lots when being evacuated.
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