Grease blamed for fire at the Shops at Rivercenter
Mall, Marriott Rivercenter evacuated; no injuries reported
SAN ANTONIO – A stubborn three-alarm fire at the Shops of Rivercenter downtown Tuesday was blamed on grease igniting in some ducts.
"(It was) really frustrating. It was just stubborn (what) we had to go through," Fire Department spokesman Joe Arrington said. "Our crews were going through and exposing ductwork continually, and where they would find hotter, they would have to take out the insulation, and where they would find the hotter duct work they would have to cool that down without directly spraying on it and spreading the grease. So they were cooling and cutting off the oxygen flow to snuff the fire out."
The fire, which was reported around 11:45 a.m., started between Luciano's and Tony Roma, Fire Department spokesman Woody Woodward said.
Most of the mall and nearby Marriott Rivercenter were evacuated, Woodward said. Hotel guests were allowed back into their rooms Tuesday afternoon.
Mall restaurants may not open until Wednesday, fire officials said.
"We were at Macy's and saw smoke and they said, 'Get out' So, we left. (Smoke) was everywhere in the mall," a shopper said.
At one point, heavy black smoke was seen billowing from the roof of the mall.
The fire frustrated firefighters until they finally got it until control after more than two hours.
Around 50 fire units responded to the blaze.
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