Taco Bell is known for setting your mouth ablaze, but one employee accidentally set an entire location ablaze after a Fourth of July stunt went awry!
Courtney Mayes (pictured above), a shift leader at one of the chain’s Nashville locations, was arrested Monday after she and her co-workers allegedly set off fireworks inside the restaurant and accidentally locked themselves out, then watched from afar as the building caught fire.
The investigation into the July 5 incident took a spicy turn when the restaurant’s management called local fire investigators to report that surveillance cameras had captured their employees playing with fireworks inside of the location. The Nashville Fire Department said in a statement on Monday:
“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.”
Was she trying to raise morale? LOLz!
But it gets even worse. Later in the video, the employees can be seen going into the men’s restroom — where they are off camera for a few moments — before returning to the lobby and placing an item into a trash can near the door. The Nashville Fire Dept. continued:
“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.”
Thankfully, firefighters were able to force their way into the restaurant to extinguish the flames when they arrived at the scene a short time later, and no one was injured.
But the fire had caused more than $30,000 worth of damage to the inside of the restaurant, the Nashville Fire Department said. Investigators also found damage inside of the men’s bathroom where it appeared fireworks were ignited inside of the trash can.
Mayes was taken into custody on Monday and charged with felony aggravated arson. The 25-year-old is being held on a $5,000 bond at the Davidson County Jail in Nashville. The Nashville Fire Department said it expects additional arrests “in the coming days,” as the investigation is ongoing.