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.

Bay Area NewsLocalneighborhoods

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Methamphetamines (Sophia Valdes/SF Weekly)
New search launched for meth sobering center site

Pandemic put project on pause but gave health officials time to plan a better facility

Hasti Jafari Jozani quarantines at her brother's San Francisco home after obtaining several clearances to study at San Francisco State University. (Photo courtesy Siavash Jafari Jozani)
Sanctions, visas, and the pandemic: One Iranian student’s bumpy path to SF State

Changing immigration rules and travel restrictions leave some overseas students in limbo

Woody LaBounty, left, and David Gallagher started the Western Neighborhoods Project which has a Balboa Street office housing historical items and comprehensive website dedicated to the history of The City’s West side. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Outside Lands podcast delves in to West side’s quirky past

History buffs Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher have been sharing fun stories about the Richmond and Sunset since 1998

Allison Zilnek and her younger daughter Marlow add Ibram X. Kendi’s “Antiracist Baby” to their Little Free Library in Walnut Creek. (Courtesy of Allison Zilnek)
The hunt for little free libraries is alleviating the pandemic doldrums

By Amelia Williams Bay City News Foundation Some people collect stamps. Some… Continue reading

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Most Read