Richmond shops evacuated by alarm


The simple act of cleaning a grill resulted in two large retail businesses in Richmond being evacuated on Tuesday afternoon after the steam from the grill activated a fire alarm.
Staff and customers in Columbus Coffee and Kmart were evacuated at around 4pm on Tuesday after the alarm in Columbus Coffee was activated by steam coming off a heated grill that was being cleaned. Two appliances and crew from the Richmond Volunteer Fire Brigade responded to the alarm which chief fire officer Ralph Lonsdale says is a “not an uncommon occurrence in commercial kitchens”.
“We get a a few calls to rest home kitchens and places like that when it’s only someone who has burned a piece of toast. It was only steam from cleaning the grill this time so they probably need to adjust the alarm so it doesn’t activate so easily.”
Although Columbus Coffee was the source of the alarm, Ralph says the two adjacent businesses share the same alarm systems and Kmart had to be evacuated as well.