Shattered glass and debris littered a Mesa parking lot Sunday after heavy flames and smoke destroyed a local Dairy Queen. There were two female employees inside but no customers at the time of the fire, Mesa fire Captain John Jayne said. No one was hurt.
About 11:10 a.m., crews responded to a fire that collapsed the roof of the ice cream shop and restaurant in the 4200 block of East Main Street after flames from a cooking fryer burned through the ceiling and into the building’s attic.
Jayne said the building was about 30 years old and did not have a sprinkler system. An extinguishing system designed to turn on in cases of extreme heat may have malfunctioned, he said.
Jayne said the employees opened the restaurant about 10:30 a.m., turned on the fryer and went to take a drive-thru order. When one of the employees re-entered the kitchen area, she noticed flames shooting up the wall.
Eastbound traffic on Main Street from Greenfield Road to Val Vista Drive was closed for about 30 minutes while crews worked to extinguish the fire.
News of the fire disappointed some local residents who often dropped by for Dairy Queen specialties.
Jonathan Poulson, 16, didn’t see the fire, but frequented the restaurant about once a week.
“It was always a friendly atmosphere,” Poulson said. “The food was good.”
Milton Kahe lives in an apartment complex located near the Dairy Queen. Kahe occasionally took his four children for ice cream and said having a Dairy Queen close by was nice, especially in summer months.
“The kids enjoyed the ice cream,” Kahe said. “It was a good neighborhood place.”