Chapelfield shopping centre was forced to close after a fire scare on Saturday 13 October, resulting in the complete evacuation of staff and shoppers.
The fire alarm started at 2:50pm followed by an announcement warning shoppers to leave immediately. Following emergency protocol, all staff congregated in Chapelfield Park to partake in a roll call and wait for further notice.
Four fire crews arrived from Sprowston, Carrow, Earlham and Wroxham, and found that the alarm was triggered on the upper level next to Hotel Chocolat. The alarm was triggered by residual smoke caused by the overheating of machinery being used to renovate the store formerly known as T.M. Lewin.
A spokesman for Chapelfield said: “We can confirm that there was a small incident at Chapelfield on Saturday afternoon resulting in an evacuation of the centre just before 3pm.”
It was not until 5:15pm that members of staff were allowed back inside, by which time shoppers had flocked elsewhere and it was nearing closing time.
A frustrated John Roseby of Pasty Café reasoned that it was a rare occurrence in an otherwise organised and very efficient shopping centre.
On a lighter note, a football match developed between members of staff, with the Apple geniuses taking on the aptly named Sports Direct team.