| Posted: Monday, Mar 04, 2013 06:13 pm
Customers were turned away from the Okotoks Safeway Monday afternoon for a couple hours after smoke was spotted pouring into an entryway.
At around 3 p.m. an employee noticed smoke and alerted the store manager, Jill Pickerling, who paged customers to come to the front of the store and called the fire department.
“It was coming out pretty good,” Pickerling said of the smoke.
However, the rest of the store only had a haze hanging in the air, she said.
People were able to buy their groceries before the store was shutdown for several hours while firefighters investigated.
Pickerling said employees were able to stay in the store while it was closed.
“The fire department told me there was nothing that could harm them,” she said.
The store had a smell of burned rubber and Okotoks deputy fire chief Pat MacIsaac said they suspected it was an electrical problem, likely within the store’s heating system.
Firefighters also checked the entire store, including the roof to try to determine the cause of the smoke.
An electrician confirmed it was the motor on a heating unit on the roof that was burned out.
Fire chief Ken Thevenot said the store re-opened around 4 p.m. while HVAC repairmen worked on replacing the broken motor.