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UPDATE: Officials Say Mall Store Fire Caused By Cigarette

Fire officials say a fire inside the Jacksonville Mall Wednesday, was caused by an employee's cigarette.

Fire Inspector John Reed says that the assistant manager of the Western Wear was smoking a cigarette in the stock room of the store. He says that she smoked about half the cigarette, put it out on an ash tray, and then dumped the ash tray in a waste can with paper in it.

Reed says about 15 minutes later, the employee smelled smoke coming from the stock room. When she opened it, it was full smoke.

The fire has been ruled accidental.

The mall was evacuated for several hours, but later reopened.

No word yet on charges against the employee.

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A fire inside the Jacksonville Mall forced an evacuation Thursday morning.

Officials say the fire was inside the Western Wear store in the mall on Western Boulevard.

The mall was evacuated. The fire has been put out, and crews are cleaning up. There were no injuries.

Fire officials say the flames started around 11 a.m. and were discovered by a store manager.

The fire inspector tells WITN they are trying to figure out if the fire spread through the walls. Smoke filled the corridors of the mall.

The mall fully reopened early Thursday afternoon.

The cause is still under investigation.


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