Supermarket fire drama

MALLAM’s Supermarket in Mullumbimby had a rude shock yesterday morning when a rooftop air-conditioning unit short-circuited and caught fire, sending acrid black smoke into the premises.

Thanks to a fine-tuned and well rehearsed fire plan staff and customers were quickly evacuated and the fire was contained to the faulty unit.

Owner John Woodhouse was full of praise for his 15 staff and appreciative of the help he received from locals.

“Everybody was fantastic and potential disaster was averted,” he said.

“There’s just too many to thank but they know who they are.”

The fire broke out about 9.30am with about six customers inside who were escorted to a designated area by staff responding to a signal designed to not cause panic. Two people were treated for minor smoke inhalation.

“Once everyone was accounted for we called 000 and alerted the neighbouring shops. I quickly checked the premises again to make sure everyone was out,” he said.

“We had all the right extinguishers and a guy from the local cafe and a refrigeration mechanic went up on the roof and were able to put it out.

“I called the council and the health inspector came up and advised us what was contaminated and what to throw out.

“We got fresh stock on the way and we’re cleaning up now, so it’s business as usual tomorrow.”



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