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Six stores are still closed after burst lines flood Oak Park Mall

Hal Wagner, owner of Ace Sports & Tickets, retrieved an autographed lithograph print of famed baseball great Ted Williams from his store Wednesday after two fire suppression water lines burst, flooding the store and 11 others in the Barnes & Noble corridor at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park.
Hal Wagner, owner of Ace Sports & Tickets, retrieved an autographed lithograph print of famed baseball great Ted Williams from his store Wednesday after two fire suppression water lines burst, flooding the store and 11 others in the Barnes & Noble corridor at Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. The Kansas City Star

Six stores at Oak Park Mall remained closed Wednesday evening after two fire suppression water lines burst early in the morning.

Barnes & Noble, American Girl, Panera Bread, Pretzelmaker/Freshens Yogurt, Ace Sports and Helzberg Diamonds were continuing their cleanup and hoped to reopen Thursday or Friday, the mall management said Wednesday afternoon on Facebook. The rest of the mall is open.

The broken lines were discovered about 5 a.m. when Overland Park firefighters responded to a water flow alarm, which typically indicates that the fire sprinkler system has been activated, said Jason Rhodes, media manager for the Overland Park Fire Department.

Firefighters found water on the floor on the lower level of the north side of the mall. The sprinkler system had not been activated and there had not been a fire.

Workers from Johnson County WaterOne entered an area containing a fire suppression line and found water more than ankle deep.

One of the broken lines was the fire suppression line to Cheddar’s restaurant, which stands outside the mall.

The water flooded about a dozen stores, including Topsy’s Popcorn, Go Calendar, Games & Toys, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, and Noodles & Co.

The public water supply to the mall was not affected.

Because the broken water lines affected the fire sprinkler system, a fire inspector placed Cheddar’s and the northern side of the mall under fire watch until repairs could be made. That means stores can open, but they will have to designate people to make periodic fire checks, Rhodes said.

The Star’s Matt Campbell contributed to this report.

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to bcronkleton@kcstar.com.

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