Richmond shopping center evacuated as crews respond to fire: ‘I’m glad no one was hurt’


RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — No one was hurt when a shopping center in Richmond’s Southside was evacuated after a fire.

“I hope everything is okay at this point,” said Sitash Pillai, the owner of a business nearby called Shereeji’s. “I’m glad no one was hurt.”

Richmond fire crews told 8News the fire started in a deep fryer of Hawk’s BBQ on Belt Boulevard across from Southside Plaza. Crews had to cut a hole in the roof of the shopping center to help ventilate the smoke.

All the surrounding businesses were evacuated as a safety measure but those businesses resumed hours after the fire was under control.

“Now, the fire stopped and we go back to business,” said Aida Thiam, owner of Aida African Braiding. “They make us stop working and come outside. Everyone had to come outside for three hours.”

The owner of Hawk’s BBQ told 8News the store will be closed for the day.


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