Car fire, fallen display at Macy's in Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus causes panic, evacuations
PARAMUS - Police confirm that a car fire and a falling display led to a chaotic scene at the Garden State Plaza Mall in Paramus Saturday night, and say that no shots were fired.
It started at around 8 p.m. when a car caught fire outside Macy's department store. Smoke made its way into the mall, prompting employees to inform people to evacuate that section of the building.
As people evacuated, a display fell over. Many people mistook the sound for gunshots, spurring the panic. At some point, another display fell over.
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The entire mall went on lockdown, and everyone inside was told to evacuate.
Bergen County SWAT units responded to the scene, as well as county and municipal police departments.
Bergen County police took to Twitter to inform people that there was a staging area off Paramus Road where residents could pick up loved ones who were at the mall.
Police searched and cleared the building by midnight. Investigators say several customers received minor injuries.
Authorities say it will be business as usual at the mall Monday.