A fire that broke out in a lighted sign above one of the stores at Lawrence Shopping Center was extinguished before it could spread to the building itself earlier this evening (Friday, Nov. 30), Lawrence Township fire officials confirmed.
Dispatched at 5:22 p.m., volunteer firefighters from the Slackwood, Lawrence Road and Lawrenceville fire companies arrived at the shopping center in the 2400 block of Brunswick Pike (Business Route 1) to find flames coming from the “C” in the “Cleaners” sign above a dry cleaning business in the middle of the row of attached stores.
Firefighters shut off power to the sign and quickly extinguished the flames. A thermal imaging camera, a device that can detect heat, was used by firefighters to confirm the fire had not spread beyond the sign, officials said.
With damage contained to the de-energized sign, the dry cleaners was allowed to remain open. The cause of the fire was believed to be electrical in nature, but remains under investigation by the township fire marshal’s office, officials said.
This evening’s was not the first blaze of its kind at Lawrence Shopping Center. On Jan. 19, 1996, a multi-alarm fire that started in a light fixture destroyed the Huffman-Koos furniture store. More recently, on May 29, 2010, a fire broke out in the “M” of the large lighted sign over the Acme supermarket but was extinguished before it could spread.