AUGUSTA — A chain store at the Marketplace at Augusta with a Halloween theme had to close on the holiday Sunday because of a reported electrical problem that forced the evacuation of the store.

Spirit Halloween, at 13 Marketplace Drive, the former Michaels store, was directed by firefighters to close until an electrician could verify the store’s electrical system was safe.

Augusta firefighters responded to the store around 10 a.m. Sunday to a report of an electrical fire and the building filling with smoke.

When they arrived they did not see any flames or smoke but smelled a burning electrical type of smell. People were evacuating the store when firefighters arrived, according to Augusta Battalion Chief Jason Farris.

Firefighters, equipped with a thermal imaging camera, checked the ceiling and electrical panel as well as displays in the store that might have had electrical wiring in them, but found nothing abnormal, a fire department report stated.

Firefighters did see from the electrical panel that the breaker for HVAC units on the roof had tripped. They accessed the roof with a ladder and saw that breakers on rooftop units there had tripped and couldn’t be moved, shutting off electrical service to the main panel.

The store chain’s website did not list a phone number for its Augusta store.

A message on the website said the store was open Monday until 8 p.m., but had planned to close anyway on Tuesday, which the chain’s other Maine stores also had on their websites.


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