The T.J. Maxx store in La Cañada Flintridge was evacuated Friday and the Los Angeles County Fire Department was called when store officials noticed smoke emitting from the rear of the building.
The business was shut down from about 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. while firefighters assessed the situation. Shoppers waited in front of the store until they could return to their carts.
Smoke coming from the elevator room that houses the power units for both elevators prompted the call. The smoke was traced to a malfunctioning elevator, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Adrian Murrieta.
"It just took about 10 to 15 minutes just to rule everything else out but we knew pretty much right away that it was the elevator room," Murrieta said.
There was no real danger, Murrieta said.
"The power units to the elevator possibly shorted out so we just shut down both the freight and regular elevator, removed some of the smoke and told management here to get a repairman to come out and check the elevator," Murrieta said.