To show how social media can lead to rumors being overblown in this day and age, earlier Saturday afternoon a rumor started to spread across local Facebook users and groups of the Ocean County Mall being evacuated. The rumors only had a tiny grain of truth to them.

According to mall employees who spoke to us on the condition of anonymity since they are not authorized to publicly comment, shortly after lunch time today, employees at the mall's Victoria's Secret store reported a smell of smoke.

Firefighters responded and temporarily cleared the store out of an abundance of caution, but the situation was deemed safe and business was back to normal in less than an hour.

Fire department activity continued into the afternoon in other areas of the mall as safety officials took environmental readings to make sure that the shopping center was safe.

On this, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, a small rumor like this could turn disastrous if it incites public panic, so it's always a good idea to make sure that news is coming from a reliable local source.


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