Fire closes fast food restaurant

A fast food restaurant was closed Sunday after a fire in the building’s electrical panel caused about $20,000 in damage.

Hickory Fire Department responded at 1:53 p.m. to the McDonalds restaurant at 2511 N. Center St. after receiving reports of a fire in the restaurant’s basement, said Terri Byers of the Hickory Fire Department.

The building was evacuated before 13 Hickory firefighters arrived on the scene.  

Byers said she doesn’t know how many people were evacuated from the building, but due to the time of the incident, she said she assumes both customers and employees were at the restaurant during the incident.

The fire department responded with two engines, one ladder truck and one command vehicle.
Firefighters found light smoke on the main floor of the building, where the eating area is located. Upon further investigation, they found the source of the smoke in the building’s basement.

They found evidence of a fire in the building’s electrical panel, although no flames were visible when firefighters arrived on the scene.

Byers said the electrical panel malfunctioned, causing the fire and about $20,000 in damage to the panel. Smoke damage to the basement and the main restaurant was minimal, and no one was injured.
The restaurant is expected to be closed until Wednesday while workers repair the damage.
Inspectors must also clear the building for health concerns before it is reopened, Byers said.