FALMOUTH — Walmart and Flagship Cinema on Route 1 were cleared of customers and staff and were temporarily closed for about two hours Monday morning, Feb. 10, after employees at the theater noticed power fluctuation issues and a burning smell, according to Fire Chief Howard Rice.

Central Maine Power also responded to the scene, and after safety checks by both maintenance staff and Falmouth firefighters, both businesses were reopened, Rice said in a press release.

He said the first set of firefighters to arrive checked the theater and noticed “an unusual issue with the lights.” At about the same time, Rice said, the Walmart manager next door reported that the heat was not working, and there was also an odor of smoke in the building. A ladder truck was used to check the roof of both businesses, he added, and nothing of concern was found.

When the crew from CMP arrived, Rice said, it quickly found an issue with the breaker on Hat Trick Drive, located just behind Walmart. CMP was able to repair the issue and power was fully restored to the complex, he said.  After a final safety check, Rice said the Fire Department gave the all-clear for both businesses to reopen.

He commended the Walmart staff for leading what he described as “an orderly evacuation of the entire store” and said it was “impressive how quickly and efficiently the management and staff at both businesses were able to clear their buildings.”

Rice said outreach by the Fire Department over the past year to discuss fire safety issues and to pre-plan for potential emergencies with businesses in town was key to the overall success of the incident. The department is holding its next Business Fire Safety Dialogue from 9-11 a.m.  March 19 at Central Station. The event is free and open to any local business owner and their employees. Call 781-2610 for more information.