The Scarborough Walmart was evacuated Thursday afternoon when smoke filled the store after a fire started in bales of cardboard behind the building.

Dozens of employees and customers were ordered to leave the store around 3:30 p.m. after the cardboard ignited in the area where packaging is compacted and loaded onto a flatbed trailer for shipping. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Scarborough Fire Department Capt. Nate Contreras said the cardboard bales were about to hauled away when the truck driver noticed flames and smoke coming from bales. The driver detached his truck from the trailer.

But the smoke from the fire got sucked in by a rooftop fresh air intake unit, filling the Walmart superstore with smoke. As a precaution, employees and customers were evacuated.

Newly arriving customers who tried to enter were turned away by employees while crews fought the blaze.

No injuries were reported, but fire officials said the store remain closed for more than two hours. It has since reopened.

Firefighters and ambulances gathered at the rear of the store, located off Gallery Boulevard, and doused the cardboard pile with compressed air foam.

The fire did not damage the store.

Scarborough fire crews remained on the scene until nearly 7 p.m.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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