Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Where hash browns and French fries are cooked

McDonald's fire at San Diego State

“‘Uh, no,’ I yelled,” King told me, “the fire’s gone up the exhaust chute and is in the roof.”
“‘Uh, no,’ I yelled,” King told me, “the fire’s gone up the exhaust chute and is in the roof.”

Shortly after 7 this morning, October 26, as I was approaching SDSU on the Number 11 bus, I saw smoke billowing up beyond the intersection of Montezuma Road and Campanile Drive. It looked to be rising from one of the new campus dorms that face on College Avenue. There were a number of fire trucks already on the scene, but additional ones kept arriving, including one that went into the oncoming lane, causing the signal at the intersection to stop our entrance onto the campus for quite a few minutes.

At last, as we waited, I saw an extension ladder that firefighters had climbed to a rooftop to fight flames now shooting skyward. It became clear then that the fire was in the McDonald’s restaurant on the north side of Montezuma between College and Campanile.

The bus finally ran the red light that would not turn, and I got out at the first stop to see how close I could get to the scene. A campus police officer blocked my way, so that I had to circle around to find a good angle to take pictures.

As I was being blocked from speaking to anyone in authority, I proceeded onto campus where I ran into a young man I recognized as a regular morning McDonald’s customer. Brandan King, who said he works for the “SDSU Aztecs,” told me he saw the fire starting in the “frier,” where hash browns and french fries are cooked in boiling oil. As customers began evacuating, several servers announced they had put the fire out.

“‘Uh, no,’ I yelled,” King told me, “the fire’s gone up the exhaust chute and is in the roof.” Employees called the fire department, as the fire took hold above them, according to King.

Once the firefighters got onto the roof, it didn’t take long to douse the flames. But the smoke kept billowing for a good while.

After an hour and a half, I circled back around to see if I might speak to the franchise owner. I had recognized him earlier standing outside the restaurant speaking to fire fighters. I was now able to approach the front door and address him, as he was discussing the scene with a manager who occasionally comes in for 15 minutes to issue instructions to servers and reposition things that are out of place.

The two gentlemen, who were noticeably agitated, told me what happened earlier was that “a small fire broke out within the exhaust fans.” In true corporate fashion, they then said I must address any further questions I had to their “media relations” firm, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker.

After I called, company vice president Price Adams emailed me, identifying the owner/operator as Bob Sutherland, who owns six other McDonald’s stores in San Diego. She included a statement from Sutherland that reads in part: “Thankfully, no customers or crew were injured. Our team is currently assessing the damage and will be closed until repairs can be made. We’re extremely grateful for the quick response from San Diego Fire-Rescue.”

Last year, management decided to stay open all night to accommodate students who study - and party – late. There has been a price to pay. Often customers are rowdy and leave behind big messes. Despite that, the restaurant has good customer service personnel. To help them cope, the restaurant has been sending in experienced managers. “Right now,” one server told me recently, “there is a lot of confusion. There are too many chiefs.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Small merchants in San Ysidro suffering

Border businesses hardest hit
Next Article

Little Italy landmark gets red marble and white marble

Our Lady of the Rosary – beyond the Genoese fishermen
“‘Uh, no,’ I yelled,” King told me, “the fire’s gone up the exhaust chute and is in the roof.”
“‘Uh, no,’ I yelled,” King told me, “the fire’s gone up the exhaust chute and is in the roof.”

Shortly after 7 this morning, October 26, as I was approaching SDSU on the Number 11 bus, I saw smoke billowing up beyond the intersection of Montezuma Road and Campanile Drive. It looked to be rising from one of the new campus dorms that face on College Avenue. There were a number of fire trucks already on the scene, but additional ones kept arriving, including one that went into the oncoming lane, causing the signal at the intersection to stop our entrance onto the campus for quite a few minutes.

At last, as we waited, I saw an extension ladder that firefighters had climbed to a rooftop to fight flames now shooting skyward. It became clear then that the fire was in the McDonald’s restaurant on the north side of Montezuma between College and Campanile.

The bus finally ran the red light that would not turn, and I got out at the first stop to see how close I could get to the scene. A campus police officer blocked my way, so that I had to circle around to find a good angle to take pictures.

As I was being blocked from speaking to anyone in authority, I proceeded onto campus where I ran into a young man I recognized as a regular morning McDonald’s customer. Brandan King, who said he works for the “SDSU Aztecs,” told me he saw the fire starting in the “frier,” where hash browns and french fries are cooked in boiling oil. As customers began evacuating, several servers announced they had put the fire out.

“‘Uh, no,’ I yelled,” King told me, “the fire’s gone up the exhaust chute and is in the roof.” Employees called the fire department, as the fire took hold above them, according to King.

Once the firefighters got onto the roof, it didn’t take long to douse the flames. But the smoke kept billowing for a good while.

After an hour and a half, I circled back around to see if I might speak to the franchise owner. I had recognized him earlier standing outside the restaurant speaking to fire fighters. I was now able to approach the front door and address him, as he was discussing the scene with a manager who occasionally comes in for 15 minutes to issue instructions to servers and reposition things that are out of place.

The two gentlemen, who were noticeably agitated, told me what happened earlier was that “a small fire broke out within the exhaust fans.” In true corporate fashion, they then said I must address any further questions I had to their “media relations” firm, Nuffer, Smith, Tucker.

After I called, company vice president Price Adams emailed me, identifying the owner/operator as Bob Sutherland, who owns six other McDonald’s stores in San Diego. She included a statement from Sutherland that reads in part: “Thankfully, no customers or crew were injured. Our team is currently assessing the damage and will be closed until repairs can be made. We’re extremely grateful for the quick response from San Diego Fire-Rescue.”

Last year, management decided to stay open all night to accommodate students who study - and party – late. There has been a price to pay. Often customers are rowdy and leave behind big messes. Despite that, the restaurant has good customer service personnel. To help them cope, the restaurant has been sending in experienced managers. “Right now,” one server told me recently, “there is a lot of confusion. There are too many chiefs.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Floating Outdoor Cinema on the Bay, Toy Piano Festival

Events September 27-September 30, 2020
Next Article

Little Italy landmark gets red marble and white marble

Our Lady of the Rosary – beyond the Genoese fishermen
Comments
1

Restaurant exhaust systems often aid a fire started in the kitchen. These systems should be cleaned often but are usually ignored. It is costly to have these exhaust systems cleaned.

Oct. 29, 2018

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close