Hundreds of customers at Wal-Mart in
Williston were forced to stop their holiday shopping for a while Friday.
Around noontime, a smoky haze and
smell filled the store, causing concern among some shoppers.
The store was evacuated and the
Williston Fire Department was called in for help.
"It was not a fire
problem, it was more of a smoke problem," Williston Police Chief Ken
Morton said. "But because of the nature of smoke and the fact that we had
a lot of folks here, it was best to evacuate, identify, and then reoccupy."
A rooftop heating-ventilating
unit with a faulty motor or belt system is suspected as the cause of the smoke.
Fire officials estimated about 500 shoppers were evacuated due to the smoky
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