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Store’s sprinkler system prevents spread of fire at Ross Dress for Less in Kapolei

A fire broke out on the sales floor at the Ross Dress for Less store in Kapolei today, forcing shoppers and employees to evacuate.

Acting Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Carl Otsuka said four fire sprinkler heads activated to extinguish and prevent a further spread of the fire.

No injuries were reported.

HFD said tonight that the cause of the fire is incendiary and turned over the case to the Honolulu Police Department for further investigation. Damage was estimated at $25,000 to the structure and $75,000 to the contents.

Eight units with 24 firefighters responded to the business at the Kapolei Commons shopping center, 4450 Kapolei Parkway just after 11:50 a.m.

When the first unit arrived, firefighters observed items on fire.

In addition to the sprinkler system, firefighters used a fire extinguisher and brought the flames under control at about noon. The fire was extinguished a few minutes later.

Tamara, who declined to give her last name, said she was in the store at about 11:45 a.m. when she smelled smoke and then saw women’s clothing on fire.

Tamara headed to the front of the store to alert employees when she observed a large fire at the men’s clothing rack in another section of the store.

One of the employees used a fire extinguisher in an attempt to extinguish the blaze but “the flames were growing so fast,” she said. “We had to evacuate.”

Tamara called 911.

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