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Fire in elevator leads to evacuations at Century III Mall

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Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 9:46 a.m.

Black Friday almost became Blackened Friday at Century III Mall in West Mifflin.

A fire in an elevator, discovered by a maintenance worker around 9 a.m., caused evacuations of the Sears store, a salon and other businesses. The smoky fire caused little damage, and the stores began to reopen within an hour.

Assistant Chief Bill Pelikan, with West Mifflin No. 4 Skyview Volunteer Fire Company, said oil and the elevator motor burned within the shaft. A worker servicing the elevator noticed the door to an access room was hot, and called for help.

“This could have been very serious,” said Pelikan.

Mall general manager Gina Mercorelli said the smoke was “disconcerting, to say the least,” but the incident didn't deter many shoppers.

“The mall's open and it's still Black Friday,” she said.

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