Second Fire Heavily Damages Taco Bell
For the second time in four months, fire struck Taco Bell in Aberdeen on a Sunday afternoon.
Some 55 firefighters and six county departments responded to the fire that was reported about 5 p.m.
The building suffered extensive damage during the fire that started in the ceiling, said Aberdeen Fire Chief Phillip Richardson.
The Aberdeen Fire Department received the call at 5:04 p.m., Richardson said, and had its first truck on the scene a minute later. He said that the first responders could see flames burning from inside the building, but they had not broken through the roof.
Richardson said firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control. He said it took about an hour to get to all the hot spots. His department stayed on the scene until 9 p.m. The Aberdeen and Southern Pines fire departments both had ladder trucks on the scene.
A Taco Bell employee reported smelling smoke, Richardson said, and then saw flames. The restaurant was quickly evacuated.
"Management did a good job," Richardson said about the evacuation. "No one inside (the restaurant) was hurt, and no firefighters were hurt."
As for the cause, Richardson said, "We know where the fire started (up in the ceiling), but not why it started. We are still investigating the fire, but there is nothing suspicious about the fire."
In late December, a fire at the restaurant caused about $25,000 in damage. It was reported at about 2 p.m. on a Sunday. The building suffered damage on the side that faces Harris Teeter.
This time the fire started on the other side of the building, the side that faces Johnson Street, Richardson said. He said the damage was much more extensive than the one in December.
Richardson said units from Southern Pines, Pinehurst, Pinebluff, Crestline and Vass fire departments also responded.
As for the fate of the restaurant, Taco Bell officials were still evaluating the situation Tuesday.
"We are trying to figure out how to proceed," said Bret Hooppaw, director of operations for Taco Bell. "We will be back."
Contact Hunter Chase at 693-2478 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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