NEW YORK — Macy’s Herald Square flagship was partially evacuated Wednesday afternoon after an electrical fire in the building’s lower level, but no shoppers or employees were injured.
Sixty firefighters manning 12 units — rescue squads, fire engines and ladder companies — were called to the scene at 11:43 a.m. for an all-hands fire that started in an electrical vault, according to a New York City Fire Department spokesman. While any signs of visual fire were “knocked out” relatively quickly, firefighters remained on the scene for several hours. The store, including the executive tower, was partially evacuated for several hours.
A Macy’s spokeswoman said the fire started in a personnel area in the store’s “sub-sub basement — two levels below where customers would be.” One firefighter suffered a minor injury, cutting his hand, she said.
Shoppers who opted to remain in the store Wednesday had to move to the Broadway side from the Seventh Avenue side. The flagship has 25,000 to 35,000 visitors each day, according to the Macy’s spokeswoman. There was no electricity in the Seventh Avenue side of the store for most of the afternoon, but the power was restored floor-by-floor shortly after 4 p.m.
Traffic along Seventh Avenue was temporarily suspended at one point.
The fire remains under investigation, the NYFD spokesman said. Fire officials and the Macy’s spokeswoman could not report on the extent of the damage at press time.
The incident marked the second time in about two months that Macy’s has had a fire at the West 34th Street store. On Dec. 20, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, hundreds of shoppers were evacuated from the flagship due to an escalator fire. No one was injured.
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