Tucson, AZ – Sprinkler system activates to help keep fire at supermarket from growing

A midtown Safeway was open again Monday after a fire broke out late Friday, March 1. The store in the 1900 block of East Broadway was partially open, according to a customer service representative. The employee said they don’t have hot water yet as they are waiting for their gas to be turned back on. The grocery and produce sections are open, as is the pharmacy.

Barrett Baker, spokesman for the Tucson Fire Department, said they were called out to the fire around 8 p.m. Friday and had it under control by 8:30 p.m. Baker said the sprinkler system worked, which also kept the fire from growing.

As of 10 a.m., the deli, meat market, bakery and Starbucks were still closed. Everything was expected to be open again by noon. The store is popular hub for Wildcats, due to its proximity to the University of Arizona. Baker said no one was injured inside the store, which is near Broadway and Kino Parkway.

“Initial reports were that an employee noticed the fire and another employee tried to extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher,” Baker said. “This slowed the growth of the fire dramatically.” Baker said the sprinkler system worked, which also kept the fire from growing. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but a Safeway worker said it began when a bag of potato chips went up in flames. Inspectors were at the store Saturday to clean up and check food for smoke damage.

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