For the Reporter
The fire that caused an evacuation of Haggen Foods on Thursday night began as a grease fire in the Oriental Express Deli, according to Valley Regional Fire Authority fire investigators.
The grease fire overwhelmed the hood and duct system and extended up into duct work in the ceiling, investigators determined, pushing a large amount of smoke through a roof vent. The building sprinkler system did activate, helping to keep the fire under control until firefighters could fully extinguish it, investigators said.
The store sustained significant smoke and water damage, but no cost estimate was available at this time, the VRFA said.
There were no injuries.
The store has since reopened, although the Oriental Express Deli remains closed.
Customers and employees inside the store were forced to evacuate when a fire broke out near the deli area at 5:52 p.m.
As VRFA crews approached the scene, they could see a large column of smoke coming from the store, located at 1406 Lake Tapps Parkway SE in the Lakeland Hills area of Auburn.
Firefighters from the VRFA, Kent, South King Fire & Rescue and East Pierce Fire & Rescue fought the fire from inside the building and on the roof.
The majority of the flames were extinguished in under 10 minutes.