2020-12-23

Workers, customers evacuated after smoke fills Bridgewater’s Dairy Queen

by KEITH CORCORAN

  • <p>FACEBOOK/BRIDGEWATER DQ CLUB</p><p>Firefighters gain access to the roof of Bridgewater&#8217;s Dairy Queen restaurant December 16.</p>

Nearly a dozen people were evacuated from an east side fast food restaurant in Bridgewater after smoke filled the LaHave Street eatery December 16.

No one was hurt, but the Dairy Queen, known for its soft-serve treats - including one sharing the name of a major snowstorm - saw a flurry of emergency response activity starting at 4:32 p.m.

Volunteer firefighters and the Bridgewater Police Service responded to the report of smoke filling up the building, and workers and customers heading outside. The municipal police force ordinarily responds when the fire department is dispatched.

"When the smoke was noticed, approximately 10 employees and [customers] safely evacuated the restaurant," Amie Hoffner, a corporate spokeswoman for Dairy Queen, told LighthouseNOW in an email.

A problematic cooling system is to blame for the incident.

"The smoke originated from a rooftop air-conditioning unit. There was no fire and there is no fire damage to the restaurant," said Hoffner.

Volunteer firefighters were seen using a ladder truck to gain access to the roof.

A technician was repairing the unit December 17 and it was expected the restaurant would reopen December 18. The location closed after the smoke condition was noticed.

An online social media group dedicated to the local Dairy Queen said "a mechanical failure" was being fixed.

"Thank you all for your concerns, and special gratitude to Bridgewater firefighters," read one online post.

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