Macy’s Department Store at Apache Mall in Rochester had to evacuate customers for awhile Saturday morning when a fire in the trash compacter dumpster inside the loading area in the back of the store caught fire. The call came in about 10 o’clock when people saw smoke pouring out of the west side of Macy’s.

According to the report, the sprinkler system was keeping the fire from spreading  further into the store, but the location of the huge dumpster prevented firefighters from directly applying water to what was burning.

Pulver’s Towing was called to hook up to the dumpster and pull it out of the loading dock garage.  Once the dumpster was outside, the fire was quickly extinguished and customers were allowed back in the store by 11:30 a.m.

Brisk winds are rarely a good thing for battling a blaze but, according to Deputy Chief Steve Belau, the direction of he wind kept the smoke out of the store.  Had it been out of the west, damage would have been much greater.

As it is, the damage was limited to the compactor and the dumpster, with minor smoke damage in the loading dock area. Nothing inside the store.

Early estimates put the damage at around $25,000.

The Rochester Fire Marshall’s Office is investigating the cause of the fire.