Gift-shop fire forces evacuation of Tweed City
THE owner of a Tweed City gift store has a quick-thinking shopper to thank for saving her business when a fire started in the gift store yesterday afternoon.
Flames engulfed part of Australian Country Living shop at 2pm after a candle set alight a display of raffia.
Store owner Paula Bollington quickly reached for the fire extinguisher, but was unable to pull its pin to get it started.
A customer rushed to her aide to extinguish the fire, which sent smoke billowing through the store and into surrounding shops.
The entire shopping centre had to be evacuated, causing chaos in the carparks and on nearby roads.
Centre manager Russell Shaw said there had been more smoke than actual flame and the flame had set off fire sprinklers, triggering the evacuation.
"The customers cleared out in five minutes. The procedures went very well," Mr Shaw said.
Ms Bollington said there was a fair bit of water and smoke damage to the gift store, which had been preparing for the Christmas shopping period.
"I guess there will be a sale now. But the worst thing is that I will have to re-order the stock somehow," she said.
One person was treated by ambulance officers.