‘Customers not told to leave on first alarm’
The evacuation of a restaurant in Guildford has been criticised after customers said it was too slow when a fire broke out in the extractor system on Monday (27 July).
Smoke alarms sounded at the Burger King in Ladymead Retail Park, Guildford. The local fire service extinguished the flames.
According to Get Surrey, questions have been asked about why the smoke alarm sounded several times before customers were evacuated.
The website reports that Burger King training manager Andy Koritsas said: “The burner where we cook the meat was burning more than it should have been. The extractor was not pumping it out.
“The smoke alarm went off three or four times. We were trying to sort it out but it continued to keep smoking.”
He continued: “At 1.30pm there was heavy smoke. One customer shouted out 'the roof is on fire', everyone rushed out.
“I made sure everyone had left. I made sure everyone vacated the building. My priority was the safety of everyone.”
A customer in the restaurant said the scene was "manic" as people fled through one door.
She said: “Someone shouted out 'everyone out', it looked like a member of staff. It caused panic, it was manic. I had my one-year-old son and four-year-old daughter. Everyone was running out the main entrance, no-one was made aware of any other exits, it caused bundling.”