BENNINGTON -- The Bennington Fire Department responded to an alarm at Bennington Square Shopping Center on Kocher Drive Thursday afternoon.

Employees in RadioShack heard a "booming sound" and then the fire alarm went off, according to firefighters at the scene. Shoppers were forced to evacuate all the stores in the plaza, which also includes a Staples, a K-Mart, and a JC Penney.

Firefighters at the scene believed that the plaza's heater had come online and set off the alarms. The last time that happened, however, it started a small fire. So, as a precaution, the fire department called in the ladder truck, according to fire officials on scene.

The heater was found to be undamaged, and no fires were discovered. Eventually the alarms were turned off and shoppers were allowed to re-enter the building.

The Bennington Fire Department could not be reached for comment.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB