Macy’s roof fire cues evacuation

Noontime Macy’s shoppers and diners at the Cheesecake Factory in Union Square found their lunch plans interrupted Monday when a rooftop electrical explosion forced an evacuation of the building.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m., a power surge caused rooftop electrical equipment to flash and spark, said Mike Morris, battalion chief with the San Francisco Fire Department. By the time firefighters arrived, maintenance crews had already cut power to the charred conduit, quickly ending the fire.

In the meantime, hundreds of employees and customers evacuated the building, and were let back inside shortly before 1 p.m., said Macy’s spokeswoman Janet De Vor.

“At no time was there any danger to personnel or shoppers,” said Morris. No one was injured in the incident.

The incident did not cause any outages in Union Square or cause hazards to any public electricity lines, said Pacific Gas & Electric spokesman Joe Molica.

“Some people came right back in, and others took the chance to bail on their meal,” Cheesecake Factory host and server William Comer said.

Store officials didn't know exactly how many customers and employees were forced to evacuate. Macy’s had 600 employees on site Monday, but many were likely at lunch, De Vor said.

The Cheesecake Factory employs roughly 225 workers at its Union Square restaurant, but it’s unknown how many were on duty during the Monday lunch hour, restaurant spokeswoman Jill Peters said.

bwinegarner@sfexaminer.com

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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