Cigarette blamed for Taco Bell fire in Katy

Investigators say a discarded cigarette in a flower bed caught the Taco Bell on fire
December 19, 2013 3:48:40 PM PST
A mid-afternoon blaze torched a fast food restaurant in Katy.

Investigators say they already know what caused this fire. They think a customer accidentally did it with a cigarette.

The West I-10 Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to the blaze on Mason at Kingsland at about 3:20pm. They arrived to find heavy smoke and flames escaping from the roof of the building. Fire crews say they quickly had to decide on only a defensive attack -- the flames were too intense and going inside would have been too dangerous.

We're told there were employees and customers inside at the time the fire started. Investigators say they all got out without injury. And it wasn't difficult for them to figure out what sparked the fire.

Lt. Dean Hensley with the Harris County Fire Marshall's Office said, "Had a customer come in and said there was a small fire in the flower bed in the mulch and he saw a cigarette. The manager came out. He thought he put the fire out, but it appears the fire continued and got up underneath one of the stucco columns and got into the wood area of the restaurant."

While there were no injuries, apparently two workers were taken to the hospital for anxiety related issues as a direct result of the fire.

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