Zellers fire deemed suspicious
A mattress fire at Zellers in Semiahmoo Shopping Centre Thursday – which prompted the evacuation and temporary closure of the mall – has now been deemed suspicious, following an investigation by Surrey Fire Services.
The file has now been turned over to the Surrey RCMP, the city's deputy fire Chief Jon Caviglia told Peace Arch News Wednesday.
While the fire was confined to a mattress display, there was considerable smoke damage to Zellers, Caviglia said.
The department store is scheduled to re-open in early April, according to a spokesperson with the Hudson’s Bay Company.
“We’re still assessing (the damage),” Tiffany Bourré said Tuesday, “but (early April) is the goal.”
A customer-service representative at the shopping centre had told Peace Arch News Monday that the store “will be closed for months” as a result of the fire, but Bourré said that is not the case.
As a result of the fire, the entire mall – with the exception of PriceSmart grocery store – was evacuated and closed for the rest of the day.
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.
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 in South Surrey 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.
Bourré said Thursday’s fire has not affected the company’s plan to keep the South Surrey location open.