Electrical Fire Causes Damage At Boscov’s In Hazle Twp.
Firefighters braved sub-zero temperatures extinguishing a fire in a storage room inside Boscov’s Department Store in the Laurel Mall in Hazle Twp. on Thursday morning. Crews responded at 4:23 a.m., circled the building and saw smoke coming from one corner on the Regal Cinema side of the building, township fire Chief Scott Kostician said. Firefighters tried accessing the Knox Box to gain entry into the building, but the box was frozen due to the extreme cold, he said. Firefighters then forced open the doors to get inside and found a fire in a storage room, Kostician said. The sprinkler system kept the fire under control until crews could bring in a hose to extinguish it, he said. The storage room sustained significant fire damage and that corner of the building on both upper and lower levels sustained water damage. Firefighters used more than 20 fans to remove smoke from both levels of the building, Kostician said. A state police fire marshal was called to investigate and the cause of the fire was faulty electrical equipment, Kostician said. The store called in a cleanup crew to deal with the damage, he said, adding that the sprinkler system was shut down and the electrical system needed to be evaluated. Rocco Arruzzo, business operations manager for the Laurel Mall, said the store opened at 3 p.m. As a precaution, the mall did not open until noon, allowing firefighters to make sure there were no issues from the fire, Arruzzo said. Below zero Firefighters dealt with extreme cold during the incident. Temperatures were at minus-10 and firefighters sheltered inside the store once the smoke cleared, Kostician said. The mall was also available as a shelter from the cold, he said. Firefighters used a 5-inch hose to supply water from the hydrant. Hazle Twp. lost three sections of hose due to the extreme cold and needed heavy equipment to pry up the hose, which froze to the ground and cracked in half when firefighters tried to roll it up, Kostician said. “It was brutal. I’ve never experienced this,” he said. Assisting Hazle Twp. were firefighters from Freeland, Valley Regional, Sugarloaf Twp., Hazleton, McAdoo and Dorrance Twp. White Haven and Weatherly were called into Freeland on standby for extra manpower if a response was necessary in the extreme cold, borough Fire Chief Joe Stepansky said. Contact the writer: email@example.com 570-501-3589