Smoke and flames erupted briefly at the Toys R Us store at Third Street and Oregon Avenue this afternoon, forcing its evacuation. No injuries were reported among the crowd of holiday shoppers and the store staff.

Fire crews responded to an alarm shortly after 3 p.m. and declared the situation under control 18 minutes later.

Neither a cause of the blaze nor a report on damages to the structure and merchandise was available tonight. A fire dispatcher said the incident had been referred to the fire marshal's office for investigation.

A recording at the store's main phone number made no mention of the fire but said doors would reopen at 8 a.m. tomorrow.
   - David O'Reilly