Safeway reopened after a brief closure and evacuation of the store by the Kodiak City Fire Department Sunday.

Safeway had experienced a stack fire in one of the ovens in its kitchen area that resulted in some smoke in the building.

“What happened is we have two commercial very big ovens. There was a fire inside the stack. What caused it — we don’t know. It was very brief fire. It never breached the stack itself — if you have a wood stove you know what I’m talking about — and there was the smell of smoke in the building and the fire department reacted correctly,” Michael Murray, Safeway’s store manager, told the Mirror.

Murray added that there is space between the ceiling in the store and the building’s roof that caused fire fighters some cause for concern.

“We don’t know what’s going on in between there,” Murray added. “Evacuating the building was the correct thing to do.”

He also said that the fire department wanted to take its time to visually inspect the stack from where it exits the oven and through the ceiling.

“It’s a maze once you get up there,” said Murray. “All the way to the top cap to make sure that there wasn’t some problem that they couldn’t see. They determined that it was contained, that it was not active at the time, and it was contained within the stack.”

Murray reports that Safeway has taken the stack that caught fire off-line until it gets replaced.

In total, he said the closure lasted around 90 minutes.

Contact Peter J. Mladineo at

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