The Apopka Fire Department evacuated the Bealls department store and several other businesses before 3 p.m. today because of a natural gas leak likely caused by construction at the Piedmont Plaza shopping center, 2450 East Semoran Boulevard in Apopka.
The buildings were vacant for nearly an hour before customers and staff could safely return. Then, at 4:19 p.m., the fire department responded to a construction vehicle – a small front-end loader - that caught fire near Bealls at Piedmont Plaza. The flames were quickly extinguished.
Piedmont Plaza is currently under construction by Woolbright Developers. It has about 221,000 square feet of retail space.