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Fire next to University due to eletrical issues

An electrical fire ignited at the future site of a health club next to the Mint Tulip Vegan Cafe on Central Avenue near Yale Boulevard this morning.

Dan Barrera, the health club’s owner, said he opened the building planning to continue readying the club for its upcoming grand opening, but when he turned on the lights, sparks flew.

“I turned the lights on, then they went out,” he said. “When I tried to turn them on again, we saw sparks coming from the electrical wiring in the ceiling and that’s when the fire started.”

Albuquerque Fire Department Capt. David Mowery said he was called to the scene at 9:30 a.m. He said the fire was quickly contained, and no one was hurt.

“It was pretty straightforward,” he said. “We did have to evacuate some buildings along here.”

He said at least one other building next to the health club was affected by the smoke.

Rosa Zanora, owner of Mint Tulip, said she and her staff were evacuated.

“We’re supposed to be opened right now, but we don’t know if we’ll be able to open at all today,” she said. “We don’t know if our building has any smoke damage or if we’ll have to check our electrical systems at all.”

Barrera said the fire could set back the opening of the new health club, which he plans to open as soon as he can.

“I guess things happen for a reason,” he said. “We expected to open in the next week, but with this, we hope to open by the first of next month.”

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