An early morning fire caused substantial damage to a Taco Bell on Monday in Mt. Juliet.
Crews responded to the call just after 6:30 a.m. to Providence Marketplace when an employee noticed heavy amounts of smoke as she entered the restaurant.
Mt. Juliet fire Chief Erron Kinney said the fire likely started in the area between the drive-through windows before spreading to other parts of the restaurant.
He said the initial problem for crews was the inability to locate affected areas when they first arrived onto the scene.
“There was zero visibility for crews that first went in,” Kinney said.
Smoke exited the building as crews opened undamaged windows and removed vent heads located on the ceiling, which helped speed up extinguishing, according to Kinney.
He also said the location of the flames added another hurdle.
“Most of the fire was trapped in the ceiling, so we opened up the roof and did some extinguishing from there,” Kinney said.
He said once they were able to get the fire stopped crews exited the building in case of structure collapse as a result of the fire.
“We were able to establish an exterior and interior safety pretty quickly, and once they gave me the word that they had eyes on and there was a collapse hazard in the back corner, we pulled everybody out,” Kinney said.
“It was a good effort from WEMA and Mt. Juliet fire. Great job.”
No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation.