Shoppers evacuated while small fire put out in Old Navy store

A fire that started in a ventilation unit at the Old Navy store in San Luis Obispo caused only minor damage Tuesday night after firefighters quickly extinguished the flames and used large fans to pump smoke out the doors and away from the store's merchandise.

The fire was first reported at 7:16 p.m., according to a news release from the San Luis Obispo City Fire Department. Firefighters who arrived at the store at 1510 Froom Ranch Road found the employees had evacuated after finding a fire burning in an HVAC ventilation system in a bathroom at the rear of the store.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and then used many large portable fans to quickly pump smoke from the upper airspace of the store out the front and rear doors. Damage to the store was limited to the HVAC unit and vent piping in the bathroom.

All of the new clothing lining the store's shelves was spared of any smoke damage, according to the press release, and the store's manager planned to open for business as usual today.