A short circuit in a billboard on the façade of the building was the suspected cause of the November 29 fire at the Mall of Sofia, the Bulgarian capital city’s chief firefighter Ognyan Metodiev said, describing arson as unlikely to have been the cause.
However, on November 30 a second round of investigations was being conducted in daylight to establish the cause of the fire, which started at about 7.15pm on Thursday. The fire was extinguished at about 8pm but firefighters remained on duty to monitor the situation through the night.
No one was injured in the blaze.
Cleaning of the damaged façade would facilitate investigations, authorities said.
The management of the 25 000 sq m, four-level mall praised the rapid reaction of firefighters and police, as well as the mall’s security staff.
The about 2000 people who had been in the mall, including 931 who had been in cinemas, had been evacuated within 10 minutes. Cinemagoers were offered refunds or the possibility of finishing watching their films on another occasion.
The management of the mall said that this year all electrical installations had been checked and officially certified.
Shops in the mall were working normally on November 30 and the problem was confined to the exterior façade.
A similar fire took place at the Mall of Sofia on January 1, in the same place, at the time reportedly also attributed to an electrical fault.