By: Sharon Aron Baron
Chasity Palumbaro was shopping for Easter with her relatives at the Dollar Tree store when she heard loud banging. Her first thought was someone smashed a car into a wall, but when she looked she saw flames.
Someone told her a fire had erupted in the chemical area of the store and there was an explosion. Running to safety, they called police.
“It was scary and people could have gotten hurt,” said Chasity.
According to Fire Division Chief Mike Moser, around 12:30 p.m. they received the 911 call from people in the Dollar Tree at 11530 W Sample Road stating something was on fire in the aisle of the store. When units arrived, they found very heavy smoke coming out of the store. With the darkened interior, firefighters were not able to see the fire right away until they made entry. Moser said the Coral Springs Fire Department used drone technology with a heat-seeking camera to help locate the fire. The drone helped locate a hot spot on the roof that they were not able to see with the naked eye.
Moser said this particular store was a bit more complicated, not because of the type of store it was, but because they didn’t know the full extent of what was for sale inside.
“There could be automotive parts inside, cleaning fluids, chemicals that we don’t know about. A retail store like this is always dangerous because we don’t really necessarily know what’s being stored in there.”
There were no injuries in the fire and the cause of the fire is under investigation.
“The store, just basically from what we see from the outside is going to be a very significant, if not a complete loss,” he said.
Jim Donnelly contributed to this story.