LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Firefighters worked quickly to put out the growing flames, burning outside of the Burger King off Man O' War Boulevard and Saron Drive, early Sunday afternoon.
"On a day like today with these high winds we can't take a chance," stated Battalion Chief Jeff Nantz, of the Lexington Fire Department.
Firefighters say the flames grew to several feet along the side of the building prompting numerous phone calls to 9-1-1.
"When the crews got here, they found the mulch was on fire and it was actually lapping up on the side of the building," described Chief Nantz.
The Chief said the flames likely started from a cigarette and that the smoke and fire forced several customers and nearly a dozen staff members to evacuate the restaurant.
"The folks at Burger King did a great job of getting all of the customers out and evacuating before we got here," stated Chief Nantz, "We absolutely got lucky. It's just not a good idea to put your cigarettes out in the mulch."
The damage was mainly to the outside of the building, but firefighters say there was some smoke damage inside. Still, the Lexington Fire Department said the restaurant will stay closed until health inspectors have the chance to walk through the inside and give it the okay.