ST. GEORGE — Just ahead of its grand opening, the newly built Smith’s Marketplace in St. George was evacuated when the store’s fire alarm and sprinkler system activated Saturday night.
St. George Fire responded to the incident at around 10 p.m. at the new store’s location at 565 S. Mall Dr.
“We got there and found that the sprinkler pipe had been sheared off from the garage door where they keep the carts,” St. George Fire Battalion Chief Robert Hooper said.
After the pipe broke, the sprinklers activated near the front of the store, and there was reportedly a smell of smoke.
The store was evacuated as a precaution once the fire alarm was sounded.
Crews from the fire department shut off the water, Hooper said, adding that no fire had started.
“Initially, they thought they could smell smoke,” Hooper said. “What it more likely was was the oil in the sprinkler pipes – when it comes out, it has this real musky smell to it, and it kind of had like a mist and a haze in the air there in the front area.”
The cart-return area was soaked, but the water was limited to a small area.
A company was called in to perform repairs on the pipe where the sliding door appeared to have come loose and snapped it.
The incident happened less than two weeks before the new store’s scheduled Aug. 31 grand opening.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.
St. George News reporter Cody Blowers contributed to this report.
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