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Fry-a-lator fire forces evacuation

Observer staff report
A fire in the Shaw’s Supermarket kitchen forced the store to evacuate staff and customers on Oct. 9.
The Williston Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at 10:07 a.m. Firefighters happened to be in the store’s parking lot when the fire alarm went off, allowing for an immediate response. Smoke was coming from the kitchen, where firefighters “discovered a small fire in the area of one of the commercial fry-a-lators which was being extinguished by an employee,” according to a department press release.
Firefighters instructed the employee to leave and extinguished the fire before focusing on removing the smoke from the building.
Mutual aid was requested from the Essex Junction and Essex Town fire departments to assist with venting the smoke. No injuries were initially reported, although EMS personnel later evaluated an employee who chose to go to the hospital for evaluation of non-life threatening injuries.
Representatives from the Vermont Department of Health ensured the food in the store was safe to eat. The supermarket reopened at approximately 5 p.m. after ventilation and cleaning.