Fire starts at Shopping Square
THE Lismore Square shopping centre was evacuated yesterday following an electrical fire in a cafe kitchen.
An electrical fire started in a fridge at a cafe within the shopping square just before 8.30am.
The owners of the cafe asked for their business not to be identified.
The cafe owners, a husband and wife, tried to put the fire out with an extinguisher but called for help when that proved unsuccessful.
Fire crews from Lismore were at the shopping centre within minutes and successfully extinguished the fire before ventilating smoke that had filled part of the centre.
The centre's fire alarm was activated and about 150 people, mostly employees, were evacuated.
Staff basked in the morning sun outside the shopping centre until they were allowed back to work about 9.30am.
Lismore Fire Station officer Kerry Webster said the fire only caused minor damage to the cafe.
"One of the motors caught fire; there is a little bit of damage but the fire was only small," he said.
"The rest is just smoke damage. It was contained to the fridge and surrounding cabinet."
The evacuation went smoothly with the entire centre being emptied within two-and-a-half minutes, centre manager Rob Walker said.
"It was about 8.30am so there were not that many people in the centre, which worked in ourfavour."
Mr Walker said the centre was back to business as soon as the small amount of smoke was cleared by firefighters.
Kaela McRae, who works at the Beauty Spot at Lismore Shopping Square, turned up to work to find everybody outside.