Friday, 27 November 2015

West Glen Target fire disrupts early holiday shopping

Thanksgiving shoppers got an unwelcome surprise at the Target on Mills Civic Parkway in West Des Moines on Thursday night.

A fire near a fryer next to the Starbucks inside the store led to an evacuation of the building around 8:33 p.m., according to Greg Jones, deputy chief with the West Des Moines Fire Department.

Jones said when crews arrived on site, employees had mostly extinguished the fire.

No injuries were reported, and officials say damage to the store was minimal.

Meghan Johnston, 22, of West Des Moines, was in the checkout line at Target when she heard the fire alarms.

"My dad and I looked over, and it's just orange," she said, referring to the flames. "The whole grocery section was smoky within a few minutes."

She was able to finish her transaction before store employees began the evacuation. Johnston guessed maybe a couple hundred customers were evacuated.

"We basically had to leave our carts in the aisles and get out," she said.

By 10:00 p.m., the smoke had cleared from the store and fire crews had left. The fire is still under investigation.

Store executive team leader Tracy Page told the Register that Target would be open at 4 a.m. Friday. However, the perishables department, including the deli and Starbucks, are closed until further notice.

Many cars continued driving past the Target after it had closed, with drivers wondering if it was open for Black Friday.

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