Car catches fire at Palisades Mall

A car parked underneath the Palisades Mall in Rockland caught fire Friday evening, forcing hundreds of shoppers to evacuate.

It happened just after 6 p.m., and Clarkstown police were first on the scene. Officers used an emergency hose to douse the flames and kept the fire from spreading.

Firefighters say a mechanical problem with the white Ford Taurus caused the fire. Smoke filled the basement garage and leaked into the mall.

"Could've been bad, there are overhead electric wires underneath there," says West Nyack Fire Chief Kevin Diercksen. "If the sprinkler did not kick on, it could've started melting electric wires."

Diercksen's crew took 30 minutes to extinguish the flames. He says the fire was contained to one car and no one was hurt.

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