Quail Springs Mall evacuated after fire starts in food court restaurant

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - Quail Springs Mall was evacuated after a fire started on a grill in the food court before 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

"Wouldn't expect it, I was just hanging out at the mall, getting ready for work and then – fire," Angel Lowrey, who works in the mall, said.

The fire started in a restaurant in the food court, spreading to the ventilation system and through the roof. Thick black smoke could be seen billowing out of the building.

"When our first units arrived, it was fairly easy to see where the fire was, but a big building like this, it's always hard to access it, find the right doors to go in. We got to be close enough that our hose lines reach," Oklahoma City Fire Department shift commander Jim Williams said.

Firefighters say the flames were put out fairly quickly, but their work wasn't done yet. They had to stay about an hour later to get the smoke and extinguishing agent out of the building.

People were kept out of the mall to make sure they wouldn't breathe in the chemicals. Over 100 people were evacuated.

"It was chaotic, the evacuating part, because it was loud, and then everyone was leaving all at the same time. I think just the weirdest part of it was everyone was in the food court eating food, and they had to leave," Lowrey said.

Damage to the building is estimated at roughly $40,000, according to Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson.

"A lot of black smoke involved the coatings and insulation around the vent duct system around that restaurant, and fire just takes the easiest route. It likes to travel every direction it can, so it went up to the roof, caught some of the roofing material on fire," Williams said.

Luckily, no one was injured.

The Health Department was also called to make sure there's no contamination in the food court.

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