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Faulty AC to blame for fire at Burger King

Lt. David Ebeling sprays water on a fire at the Burger King on Halls Ferry Road early Sunday morning. (Jon Giffin The Vicksburg Post)

[10/04/04]A faulty air conditioning unit started an early Sunday morning fire that destroyed one of two local Burger King restaurants, investigators said. The building was empty at the time.

Firefighters received the call to 3121 Halls Ferry Road at 1:05 a.m., Assistant Chief Donell Wince said, and flames were rapidly consuming the brick and wood structure.

“(Fire) was coming out the back” of the restaurant Wince said.

It took nearly two hours to contain the blaze, using three pumpers and the platform truck.

The air conditioning unit, which sat on the top of the building, had a history of smoking and causing minor fires, Wince said. He said firefighters had visited the restaurant on nonemergency calls several times.

“Usually we just cut the power,” he said. “This time, after closing hours, there wasn’t nobody there to detect it.”

Employees had left at about 11 p.m. Firefighters suspect that the unit had been smoldering since then.

The restaurant’s manager, Judy Huell, told firefighters that the unit had been inspected within the last 60 days.

Huell could not be contacted today. The restaurant was the first Burger King in Vicksburg, followed by a second outlet of the international franchise on Clay Street several years ago.

The last truck left the scene at 10:22 a.m.