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Fire Puts Glendale Broadway Store Out of Business for Day

December 24, 1987|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

Fire caused by an electrical short closed one of Glendale's largest department stores for most of the day Wednesday, leaving disappointed Christmas shoppers on the outside, looking in.

Firefighters evacuated The Broadway store in the Glendale Galleria at about 1 p.m., after the blaze cut off electricity and activated sprinklers throughout the three-level structure.

The evacuation of the store was orderly and no injuries were reported, Glendale Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Starr said. He estimated $15,000 of merchandise in a store warehouse was damaged by the fire. Store officials said they could not estimate the loss in sales revenue because of the closing, on one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Two harried department managers dressed in red and green promotional outfits fielded questions from shoppers outside the store for hours, as hundreds of employees inside stood at their posts under emergency lights.

"There's no hope," customer Jerry Johnson said as he clutched an advertisement heralding a sweater "only to be found at The Broadway," and peered in the closed glass doors of the store.

"I had this one darn outfit that I had to get for my wife," Johnson, who works in Glendale, said. "She made me save this picture to buy it when I had time. I have time and The Broadway is the only place that has it. What on earth am I going to do now?"

Water from a leaking pipe caused the electrical short when it seeped into a main complex of copper electrical connecting rods in the warehouse area, Starr said.

The store was expected to be open for business as usual this morning, officials said.

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