northpark smoke Fire Leads To NorthPark Center Evacuation

(credit: Michael Hyland/CBS 11 Viewer)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A fire at NorthPark Center has led to the evacuation of the entire mall.

Dallas Fire Rescue responded to the 2-alarm fire at about 10:30 a.m.

DFR spokesman Jason Evans told CBS 11 News that it appeared the fire began at the Panda Express restaurant, in the mall’s second floor food court.

“The small fire somehow started in the kitchen of a restaurant and somehow got up into the vent-a- hood, traveled approximately four to five feet up to a small attic space and out to the roof-line,” Evans explained.

The fire apparently spread quickly. Reportedly, when fire crews arrived there was smoke billowing from the roof of the building. Firefighters battled the blaze from the ground level, at the kitchen, and from the rooftop.

The fire wasn’t serious enough that an evacuation was required, but mall officials took the step as a precaution. Video shot from Chopper 11 showed hundreds of people exiting the mall, going to parked cars, and sitting down on grass and curbs.

NorthPark Center released the following statement — “This morning at approximately 10:30 am, we received a report of a fire at the Panda Express at NorthPark Center. In an abundance of precaution, we have evacuated the shopping center to assure the safety of our shoppers, merchants and employees. NorthPark Center Management is aware of the situation and we are cooperating with the Dallas Fire Department.  There have been no reports of injuries.

Fire crews spent hours at the scene searching for and putting out ‘hot spots.’ The majority of the damage inside the mall appears to be contained to the Panda Express.

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