A fire at a rubbish bin at the back of Peace Centre on Thursday evening sent thick smoke pouring into the mall, causing panic among shoppers and tenants.
"There were people running everywhere," said a food seller, who did not want to be named.
They were immediately evacuated by the police and many gathered outside the building at Selegie Road.
Mr Derrick Toi, 28, an employee at printing shop Master Color, said: "We closed the shop and immediately ran outside."
No one was injured and the fire, which started at 5.45pm, was put out in 10 minutes.
An SCDF spokesman said that the rubbish bin came from the loading-and-unloading area behind the mall.
He added that the smoke was from a discarded item.
Investigations are ongoing.
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