Staff and shoppers had to evacuate Grafton Shoppingworld late Saturday morning when smoke raised the alarm.
Staff and shoppers had to evacuate Grafton Shoppingworld late Saturday morning when smoke raised the alarm. Daily Examiner

Evacuation causes shoppers to get hot under the collar

SHOPPERS and staff at Grafton Shoppingworld had their air-conditioned comfort interrupted for a short time on Saturday when the evacuation alarm was sounded at around 11.30am.

Grafton Fire Rescue NSW attended the incident that occurred on the blisteringly hot morning, Captain Garry Reardon saying it was smoke given off by the power factor correction capacitor in the centre's main switchboard area that triggered the alarm.

"That's how the system operates,” Capt. Reardon said. "Everyone has to evacuate, it's something that should be followed all the time, reacting to an evacuation immediately, and this one was done very well. Safety for everyone is our main concern.”

Capt. Reardon said the power had to switched off and an electrician brought in to inspect the equipment and secure the switchboard area. "I believe the incident was isolated,” he said.

The centre was out-of-bounds for about 30 mins on one the hottest days in Grafton this year.

"I know it was stinking hot in our fire-fighting gear,” Capt. Reardon said.


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