Operations return to normal at Southern Park Mall

Staff report


An Ohio Edison transformer that caught fire Saturday and cut power for two-thirds of the retailers in Southern Park Mall was fixed in less than two hours and operations are back to normal at the mall.

Only Sears was forced to close for the remainder of the day Saturday, with other vendors either choosing to stay open or closing temporarily while the problem was solved, said mall spokeswoman Sheryl Raulin.

About 11:30 a.m., township firefighters received a call for a fire at a transformer outside the mall.

That fire primarily affected Sears and forced the retailer to close for electrical repairs.

Sears reopened Sunday and had extended hours for a special friends and family event.

The incident was the mall’s third in as many months.

In March, an unexpected construction problem at J.C. Penney forced management to turn customers away and kept the store closed for more than a day.

Last month, a small fire that started on a maid’s cart in a maintenance closet inside Sears prompted a brief storewide evacuation.

No one was hurt in those incidents.

“For a long time, absolutely nothing happens, and then something breaks down all of the sudden — it’s just like your house,” Raulin said.

Regular business operations were underway by Saturday afternoon, and Raulin said mall management foresees no further problems with the transformer or power at the building.

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