Mattress fire shuts South Surrey Zellers for months
A fire Thursday afternoon at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre caused the building to be evacuated and the mall to be shut down.
The mall re-opened at its usual time Friday morning, but Zellers is still closed and, according to a customer-service representative Monday afternoon, “will be for months.”
The fire started at a display of mattresses, according to Surrey deputy fire chief Jon Caviglia. While the flames were confined to that one area, the black smoke did the majority of the damage.
“Obviously, it burned enough to set off the sprinkler system,” he said. “There is a lot of smoke damage in Zellers…the amount of smoke was incredible.”
It has not yet been determined if the fire was accidentally or intentionally set, Caviglia added.
By 4 p.m. Thursday, Surrey Fire Services members, as well as employees from a restoration company, had set up large fans in the shopping centre’s entryways in order to clear out the smoke.
The mall was closed for the rest of Thursday, as was the liquor store on the same property. PriceSmart remained open.
When contacted last week, Semiahmoo Shopping Centre marketing manager Jeri Cox directed inquiries to senior property manager Richard Hobbs, who did not return calls by press deadline.
A representative for the Hudson's Bay Company, which owns Zellers, also did not return calls by press deadline.
Last summer, it was announced that 189 Zellers stores across the country were sold to the U.S.-based Target department store chain, and 64 that were not sold would be shut down.
The Zellers at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre was originally scheduled to close March 16, but HBC then chose – along with a select few other locations – to keep a revised version of Zellers open.