Sprinkler system worked, didn’t save Manchester McDonald’s

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CLAY COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ)- Firefighters in Clay County say a sprinkler system some originally thought didn’t work, did actually activate during a fire Sunday morning at a Manchester McDonald’s. It did not keep the fire from destroying the restaurant, though.

“As soon as they got outside, the whole top just lit up,” Lockard’s Creek Fire and Rescue’s Charles Weaver said.

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He says fire broke out at the Manchester McDonald’s before the restaurant opened for breakfast Sunday. Three employees inside tried to fight the fire on their own before crews arrived.

Firefighters think it started in the frying area, but they’re still not sure how.

“They have a real big breakfast crowd. If this would have been a couple hours later, this could have been a whole lot different,” Weaver said.

Firefighters had to leave the building eventually because the fire was in the ceiling and it started falling in.

The mayor says the owner had plans for a new building and is making sure employees will have work at another McDonald’s he owns in London until a new location is built.

Some of those employees will now have to drive more than 20 minutes to get to work.

A spokesperson sent this statement from the owner:

“We are thankful that our restaurant was closed at the time of the fire, and no customers were in the restaurant. Our employees who discovered the fire safely exited the restaurant and were not injured. They did everything they could to attempt to extinguish the fire and activated the fire suppression system. We would like to thank our employees for their quick action to ensure the safety of each other, and the firefighters who worked hard to control the situation. The location will be closed for the next several weeks. Our employees will be relocated to our other restaurants. We encourage our patrons to visit our other locations nearby.” – Gist Heinrich, owner-operator

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!