Lord & Taylor had an unplanned work stoppage Monday afternoon when a car fire outside its flagship forced the closure of Fifth Avenue for around 30 minutes, keeping shoppers from being able to access the store.
A city SUV taxicab caught fire and then exploded on Fifth Avenue between 38th and 39th Streets just before 2 p.m. The blaze forced the fire and police departments to close Fifth Avenue from 42nd to 38th Streets while the fire was extinguished and the debris cleaned up. The street reopened around 2:20 p.m.
According to a New York City Police Department supervisor on the scene, there were no injuries and the incident was merely a car fire. “It’s not terrorism,” one police officer said. “It’s nothing serious.”
Adding to the initial fear was the fact that Lord & Taylor is being powerwashed and the water used by the workers on scaffolding looked like smoke, prompting some onlookers to think the store was on fire.