Harrison County

Wal-Mart in Pass Christian closes for report of fire; no fire found

Wal-Mart shoppers and workers were evacuated Monday and the store was closed about an hour during investigation of a complaint of smoke.

An air-conditioning unit on the roof had burned up and caused “a light haze of smoke,” Fire Department Lt. Terry Lewis said.

Store employees had reported seeing “a light smoke or soot” coming from the roof Monday morning, Fire Chief Tim Hendrix said.

Firefighters used thermal-imaging equipment to check for a fire inside the building but didn’t see signs of a fire.

The burned-up AC unit had sent smoke into the building, starting in an office, and out of the roof, Lewis said.

The store stayed closed while firefighters determined the cause and disconnected the affected unit.

Lewis said firefighters used gas-powered fans to clear smoke out of the store.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews