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Mall Cleared for Fryer Fire

Staff Reports

LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A fire in a fryolator forced a brief evacuation of the Berkshire Mall on Friday morning and delayed its opening by 10 minutes.

The fire was contained to the McDonald's in the Food Court and is believed to have started in the fryolator's hood. The fire is under investigation and the fast-food purveyor is expected to be closed for at least a day or two during that time.

The fire occurred around 9 or 9:30 a.m.; the Food Court is open prior to many of the stores in the mall's interior. The mall itself opens at 10 a.m.

An hour or so after the fire was called in, two fire trucks were still parked at the entrance and the McDonald's and court area directly in front of it were cordoned off with yellow tape.

Heather Salerno, the mall's marketing director, said staff evacuated the building immediately and procedures set in place for emergencies "worked very well."

"Obviously there was a limited a staff at this time of the morning but they were able to get everyone cleared [from the building] very quickly," she said. "The Lanesborough Police and Lanesborough Fire Department did a fantastic job."

Store clerks, staff and customers were allowed back in at 10 minutes after 10, she said.

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