Firefighters were on the scene of a fire at Destiny USA within three minutes. The Syracuse Fire Department was called to Tuesday at 6:37 PM for a report of a possible structure fire.

When they arrived firefighters say "a very heavy volume of smoke" was coming from the roof of The Cheesecake Factory. The mall was immediately evacuated. Because of the amount of smoke involved, another alarm was sounded and an additional fifty firefighters were called to the scene.

Destiny USA December 2021 Fire Photo Credit: Syracuse Fire Department
Destiny USA December 2021 Fire Photo Credit: Syracuse Fire Department

Syracuse Fire Chief Michael Monds says firefighters had several obstacles to overcome while fighting the fire. First, they say two nearby fire hydrants were broken and firefighters had to look for alternate hydrants to secure a water supply. They say "the broken hydrants did not impact the operation."

The second challenge was presented by evacuees who, in their effort to get away quickly, drove over firehoses.

According to a release from the Syracuse Fire Department:

"Firefighters gained access to the roof utilizing interior stairwells and a 110’ ladder truck. Once on the roof, firefighters discovered a large area of roofing material (approximately 20’ x 50’) on fire. It took more than 45 minutes to completely extinguish the blaze. Several sections of the roof had to be cut open with saws to check for and extinguish, any hidden pockets of fire. The utilities for that portion of the mall had to be shut off. Although there was a light smoke condition inside the mall, the bulk of the fire damage appears to be limited to the roof."

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.  They are still working to determine the cause.

Destiny USA December 2021 Fire Photo Credit: Syracuse Fire Department
Destiny USA December 2021 Fire Photo Credit: Syracuse Fire Department

In addition to Syracuse Fire and Syracuse Police department, several other agencies responded to the fire including the American Medical Response (AMR) of Central New York and National Grid.

The Syracuse Fire Department is using this opportunity to remind citizens not to drive over fire hoses and calmly exit buildings and parking lots when being evacuated.

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