Texas Mall Fire Forces Evacuation, Road Closures


A two-alarm fire that started inside the Rivercenter Mall closed downtown streets around the mall for more than three hours Monday morning.

According to San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood, the fire started in a pizza oven in a river-level restaurant and spread into the mall's ductwork.

Firefighters reported flames coming out of a vent on the mall's roof, Hood said.

Though the main body of the fire was quickly extinguished, Hood said tracking the fire through the ductwork was a painstaking process.

"We were getting readings of about 500 degrees on some of the ducts and smoke in the food court, hotel, and some of the Macy's areas," Hood said.

No one was hurt, but several stores asked customers to evacuate as a precaution.

"We weren't sure what was going on, but we knew something was going on when 20 fire trucks pulled up and they brought the hoses out," said Karen Schanne, who was shopping.

Smoke drifted through vents into the adjacent Marriott Hotel, but the hotel wasn't evacuated.

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