Berkshire Mall reopens after shutdown amid fire alarm malfunction

The Berkshire Mall was closed on Thursday after the fire alarms malfunctioned, but management said it had reopened on Friday.

LANESBOROUGH — The Berkshire Mall was open for business on Friday, a day after being shut down over an issue with two fire alarms.

The Lanesborough Fire department ordered the mall closed on Thursday for safety reasons after it determined the alarms were malfunctioning, said general manager Jim Ruiz."If they're not working they're not safe,"  he said.

Ruiz did not know what caused the problem with the fire alarms, but he said Friday morning that the problem had been resolved. The Fire Department did not return a call seeking comment.Mike Kohan, the principal partner of  mall owner Kohan Retail Investment Group of New York, said the fire alarms were located in one of the mall's suites, and did not function properly.

The Target store in the mall, which is not owned by Kohan's group, was not affected by Thursday's events.

"We just closed the door" that connects to the mall, said Evelyn Dekoninck, the store's general manager. Regal Cinemas also were not affected.This is the fourth time this year — and second time in a month — that infrastructure issues have caused the mall to close temporarily. The three other instances occurred because of partial power outages, with the latest taking place June 22. The two other outages occurred last winter.

The Kohan group purchased the mall for $3.5 million in September 2016, but the shopping complex has been plagued by issues that have affected brick and mortar stores nationally and has lost all of its anchor tenants.The Kohan Group has also struggled to meet its financial obligations to the town of Lanesborough the last two years.Business editor Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at tdobrowolski@berkshireeagle.com and 413-496-6224.