Fire investigators say the preliminary cause of a fire at a Burger King Wednesday night in Tully was an electrical problem wit exhaust ventilation fans located just below the ceiling.
As the fast food restaurant off the interstate burst into flames, Bruce Graham was one of the first to get the call. He's one of three owners of the site. Graham says he could see the inferno from his home six miles away.
"It was a clear, cold night so the smoke just went straight up in the air," says Graham.
Workers at the Burger King called 9-1-1 around 8pm when they smelled smoke and realized the roof was on fire. Since it broke out near the roof, Tully's Fire Chief, Steven Shahan, says the flames got a good head start before anyone even realized something was burning.
"The fire I think they believe started in or around one of those exhaust fans, impinged on a natural gas line which developed a leak from the high pressure from the heat which then fed the fire and made it worse," says Shahan.
The site is now boarded up. Shareholders are waiting for insurance adjusters to come and determine what's next.
As Graham looks over the charred remains of the building, he's hopeful after 23 years in business, they'll rebuild.
"I think the Burger King was a good business here and I think that's probably the best use for it. So we'll look to see if it's a restoration project or if it's a rebuild," says Graham.