COUNCIL BLUFFS — Trey McDaniel, 12, went to Wendy’s for a frosty.
Instead, he left empty-handed and was standing outside with frosty fingers.
The restaurant at 3524 West Broadway was evacuated Friday night after a fire broke out in the rear of the building near the drive-through lane. Firefighters were called about 9:30 p.m.
Mike Godbout, acting assistant Council Bluffs fire chief, said the building had extensive smoke damage.
“Most of the (fire) damage was done to the outside of the building,” he said. “Patrons noticed fire on the outside, not the inside.”
The blaze was contained within 30 minutes. Godbout said the cause had not been determined.
Terrell Brown, a cook, said employees smelled smoke for about 30 minutes.
“We thought it was the fluorescent lighting,” Brown said. “It took us about half an hour before we realized there was a fire. It smelled like burnt carpet.”
Ramanda McDaniel, Trey’s mother, said they were ordering when a worker said the building might burn down.
“We thought they were joking. Then they evacuated us,” she said.
McDaniel said that the flames were about 5 to 6 feet tall and that she could smell gas and hear glass breaking.
“After we called 911, someone tried to go through the drive-through lane,” she said. “I had to wave at them and tell them to go away. There was a huge fire there.”