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Sprinkler system controls fire inside West End store

Posted at 2:02 PM, Dec 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-24 18:24:05-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Avenue, a women's clothing store, was evacuated Wednesday afternoon after Henrico Fire crews responded to a fire inside the store located at 9077 Staples Mill Road.

Avenue Fire

Henrico Fire Battalion Chief Eugene Gerald said it appeared the fire started at about 1:04 p.m. in the "main part" of the store. The exact cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

"Inside the Avenue clothing store fire crews found a small fire that had been extinguished by the stores sprinkler system," Henrico Fire spokesman Danny Rosenbaum said. "There was minor smoke, water and fire damage done to the Avenue clothing store. The GameStop next to the store suffered minor water damage and the Sweet Frog had no damage."

Chris Jarvis and his young son took a shopping break to watch his heroes in action.

"It looks like it was pretty serious," Chris Jarvis said. "He's a fan of fire trucks. So, we wanted to make sure everything was alright."

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.

Photos taken at the shopping center showed Henrico Fire crews in the  parking lot. One witness said he saw smoke coming from Avenue, but never saw any flames.

Staples Mill Plaza fire

Nearby stores and restaurants such as Sweet Frog and GameStop were temporarily closed while Henrico Fire crews investigated, Gerald said.

"The fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s Office," Capt. Rosenbaum said.

Management at Avenue clothing store said they hoped to re-open the store on Friday.