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Fire Reported At Downtown Fort Lauderdale Building

Crews responded to a fire in a downtown Fort Lauderdale building Thursday afternoon. 

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Public Information Officer Capt. Gregory May said a high rise fire with heavy black smoke was called in at about 12:26 p.m. at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. 

Building occupants were asked to exit the building when first responders arrived. Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, the fire chief and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department were on the scene.

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There were no reports of life-threatening injuries or ailments caused by smoke inhalation.

The blaze was caused by a grease fire at Grille 401, May said. The fire was sucked up into the hood system, or vents, meaning it could spread to anywhere in the building. May said crews were still working to isolate the fire, so it is unlikely that people will be able to return to the building today.

Nanci Bell and Andrea Alorro work at Tease Salon on the first floor of the building. They said that an initial fire alarm sounded, but most people in the salon assumed it was a test and ignored it. They left when firefighters entered the salon and explained the situation.

“The smoke was just billowing out,” said Bell, a nail technician. “It was major smoke.”

Alorro had to take the salon’s schedule outside when she evacuated. She sat right across the street from her salon, where she called all of the salon’s clients to reschedule appointments.

All clients that were currently in the salon had to be moved to a stylist’s home in the nearby Camden Las Olas Apartments, where color and bleach could be rinsed out and cuts could be finished. Though the situation was nothing short of chaotic, Alorro was smiling.

“The joke is that we have the hottest hairstyles in Fort Lauderdale,” she said.

This story has been updated from its original version with more information about the incident. 

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue 

Courtesy Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue 

Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue 

Courtesy Andrea Alorro