by Chris Harris
Burger King is known for serving up hot and tasty food — but when the roof of the building is kissed by flames, it’s a matter of emergency.
That’s why Somerset Firefighters responded to the Burger King North location Monday afternoon on the corner of U.S. 27 and old Ky. 80, to put out a fire that was visible from the roof of the fast food eatery.
According to Tyler Jasper, Somerset Fire Department Chief, the incident happened shortly before 4 p.m., when a belt apparently broke on an exhaust fan.
“The heat was able to build up to the point to where it caught the residue on fire,” said Jasper. “Flames were coming out of the exhaust pipe when we got there.”
Dale Miracle, director of operations for the restaurant, said that an assistant manager noticed the fire and helped get everyone evacuated, employees and customers alike.
Jasper said employees tried to suppress the fire with extinguishers and it wouldn’t go out. The Somerset Fire Department tried a similar approach to no avail, and eventually ended up using water to put out the fire, less than 100 gallons in all.
Jasper said that the fire stayed within the exhaust pipe and didn’t spread, so that there was no real smoke or water damage to the restaurant.
“They might have some of the cooking stuff that needs to be cleaned,” he said. “... All of the smoke was vented out.”
Miracle wasn’t sure at the time of the fire whether or not his store would be able to open the next day or if it would take a while.
He also noted that while the fire was “a pain,” he was thankful that no one was hurt, and appreciate of the efforts by first responders.
“Police and the fire department acted immediately,” said Miracle. “ They did a tremendous job. We’re very happy that they responded as well as they did.”
Firefighters were on the scene for about an hour, said Jasper.
The Somerset Police Department and Somerset-Pulaski County EMS also responded to the scene.