Electrical woes temporarily close restaurant

Published 8:03 am Saturday, February 21, 2009

FRANKLIN—Folks looking for Egg McMuffins and hash browns at the McDonald’s on Armory Drive may have been left with empty bellies Friday morning after the restaurant closed due to electrical problems.

According to Tim Dunn of the Franklin Fire Department, responders were dispatched to the McDonald’s around 5 a.m. after employees coming in for the morning rush were met with smoke billowing from inside.

Once on the scene, firefighters detected isolated electrical irregularities that had the potential to result in a major fire, Dunn said.

Franklin resident James Ruffin said he was turned away when he tried to walk into the restaurant for his usual chicken biscuit and coffee.

“A guy came to the door and said I couldn’t come in because there had been a fire or something,” said Ruffin.

Instead, Ruffin said he was forced to go to a neighboring fast-food eatery for his breakfast.

“I ate two sausage biscuits,” he said. “They were good, but I’ll be back at my usual hopefully tomorrow.”

City building and health inspectors had been dispatched to evaluate the problem and found some minor corrections were needed before the McDonald’s would be able to open up again.

“There was no significant damage,” said city inspector Phil Sherman.

However, Sherman said his report cited some repairs that would need to be made before the restaurant could resume serving food. He did not elaborate on what types of repairs were needed.

“After all the repairs are corrected, they will be allowed back in business,” he said.

April Evans, a spokeswoman for Tandem Inc., the Moyock, N.C., based company that owns the Franklin franchise, said the company would work to have the store open by the dinner hour.

The restaurant reopened around 6:30 p.m.