SHORT HILLS, NJ - Earlier today, the Mall at Short Hills was closed down when a water main break prompted the evacuation of shoppers and a cleanup effort to get the mall back on its feet.
According to Millburn Fire Chief Robert Echavarria, the shutdown stemmed from the after-effects of the break.
"We had a water main break that feeds to all the fire suppression to the mall," Echavarria said. "The water leaked inside to one of the electrical sub-panels that controls this area of the mall. So for safety, we shut down the other power to the mall."
The particular sub-panel affected was unit A, near the Macy's anchor side of the mall. As a result, Echavarria said that the department also shut down units B and C as a precaution, which left the mall unsecured against fire.
"The reason why the mall is evacuated is just because there's no fire protection systems working right now," he added. "Including sprinkler and the fire alarms, smoke detectors and so forth."
Echavarria noted that the Millburn Fire and Police Departments were both called to the scene, and assisted in the evacuation of shoppers from the mall.
As of press time, the mall remained closed while crews worked to clean and restore the affected area.