All but five of the 30 Makai Market Food Court eateries at Ala Moana Center reopened for business about 3:30 p.m. following this morning’s fire at Panda Express.
However, about 15 other stores and restaurants elsewhere at Ala Moana are still closed due to water and/or smoke damage, Ala Moana officials said.
Makai Market restaurants still closed, besides Panda Express, were: Hibachi, Yummy Korean BBQ, Soba-ya and Sbarro.
The other busineses still closed are: Cinnabon, Curry House Coco Ichibanya, Sam Goody, See’s Candies, Taco Del Mar, Papyrus, Reyn’s, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, Hermes, the Disney Store, Bag ‘n Baggage, American Eagle Outfitters, and Aeropostale.
The fire was reported about 10:20 a.m., Honoluu fire Capt. Terry Seelig said.
A woman in the kitchen sustained minor burn injuries but declined treatment.
Seelig and a restaurant employee who declined to give his name said the fire started in hot oil in a wok.
Most stores on the ewa-makai side of the mall, from the ground floor to the third floor, were evacuated shortly after the fire began.
Waikiki resident Rob Hatch said he was walking through the Makai Market food court when "all of a sudden I saw black smoke everywhere. … The first few minutes were very intense, everyone was trying to get out."
Dante Baguinon Jr., a supervisor at Paradise Cafe in the food court, praised mall security staff for keeping panic down and making sure everyone got out. "Nobody is stuck in there, that’s the main thing," he said.
Heavy black smoke could be seen coming from the shopping center.
Several stores closest to the ventilation system, including Juicy Couture and Kate Spade on the second floor and American Eagle Outfitters and Aeropostale on the third floor, needed help from firefighters equipped with giant fans to suck smoky air out.