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Taco Bell employee arrested for setting off fireworks inside restaurant, causing fire

2 years 11 months 1 week ago Tuesday, July 13 2021 Jul 13, 2021 July 13, 2021 11:48 AM July 13, 2021 in News
Source: ABC News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A shift leader at a popular fast food chain is behind bars for allegedly encouraging co-workers to join her in setting off fireworks inside of their place of employment, and in so doing, accidentally setting the restaurant on fire, according to ABC News

The incident occurred at a Taco Bell in Tennessee and according to the Nashville Fire Department, 25-year-old Courtney Mayes is the shift leader who was arrested and charged with felony aggravated arson.

Security camera footage of the July 5 incident showed multiple employees playing with fireworks inside of the eatery.

The fire department said, “According to the surveillance footage, the employees can be seen locking the doors to the dining room to keep customers from entering the business. The video then shows the employees running around the inside of the store with fireworks in their hands.”

Authorities say the employees apparently lit the fireworks and placed them in a trash can inside of the restaurant, then went outside of the building to watch what would happen. 

But one critical aspect of their illicit plan went awry, the employees accidentally locked the restaurant's door behind them as they went outside to view the 'fireworks show.'

They mistakenly locked themselves out of the building and were forced to watch it burn.

Firefighters described seeing this unfold in surveillance footage, "Employees are seen using their cell phone cameras to record the trash can from the outside of the restaurant. Employees then realized they locked themselves out of the restaurant. The employees tried unsuccessfully to get back into the store. When the employees saw the trash can start to smoke, they called 911 for help.”

Firefighters rushed to the scene of the blaze and extinguished the flames.

Officials say the fire caused more than $30,000 worth of damage to the building.

Mayes is being held on a $5,000 bond at the Davidson County Jail in Nashville and the Nashville Fire Department said it expects additional arrests “in the coming days.”

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