Investigation underway on Bay Area Target store fire

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A Target in Albany temporarily closed after a fire incident last week, and now an investigation is ongoing as to what triggered the blaze, a city spokesperson told SFGATE.

At around 9:30 in the morning on Jan. 3, the Albany and Berkeley fire department crews responded to a fire incident in a Target store located at 1057 Eastshore Highway.

The spokesperson said a “significant smoke” was observed by firefighters upon their arrival. It floated from the front entrance, as a clothing rack close to the changing quarters was “burning and partially extinguished by the sprinkler head above it.”

One of the customers managed to record the incident and showed how the fire engulfed the displayed items as people inside started to evacuate.

The two-alarm fire was completely put out by fire crews within 15 minutes, according to a city spokesperson.

After the fire, smoke damage was seen just above the blaze; the sprinkler sustained “heavy water damage”; and most of the items on the first and second floors were also damaged.

Brian Harper-Tibaldo, a Target spokesperson, told SFGATE that store workers hurriedly escaped the establishment.

He said the store’s reopening can be expected “within a few weeks.”

“We’re grateful no one was injured,” he said.

The cause of the fire is not being investigated by the Albany Fire Department, Albany Police Department, and the Alameda County Arson Task Force. The teams are yet to determine whether “simultaneous theft” happened, according to a city spokesperson.

The number of damaged or lost assets was not divulged by the establishment. It only urged its patrons to visit 40th Street in Emeryville for their grocery needs while the one in Albany is still being repaired.