Sears loading dock fire

A fire started inside this trailer early Thursday morning at the Sears loading dock at the Columbia mall. The trailer was attached to the store and caused extensive smoke damage inside the Sears. (Photo by David Greisman / May 5, 2012)

Sears reopened Saturday morning, two days after a fire at the store's loading dock left extensive smoke damage inside that closed the Columbia mall store.

Several portable "air scrubbers" could be seen and heard around the store.

Crews called to the mall at about 5:40 a.m. Thursday found a fire in a trailer outside of Sears attached to the store's loading dock. The fire was put out quickly, but the smoke damage inside the department store was severe enough that a special ventilation unit had to be called in from Montgomery County, according to Eric Proctor, a spokesman for the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services.

The other stores in the mall opened on time; the food court restaurants opened later Thursday.


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Nobody was injured in the fire, the cause of which is under investigation, Proctor said.