McDonald's apologizes for not serving complimentary teas and coffees to exhausted firefighters after social media outrage
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service rushed to York's Clifton Moor retail park on Saturday afternoon after a fire broke out.
Firefighters were refused free coffees or teas at a McDonald's branch after they tackled a huge blaze at a retail park, resulting in a severe backlash online. A raging fire at home store B&M at the Clifton Moor Centre in York caused dozens of firemen to respond to the scene. The firefighters had to work in shifts to put out the flames, which lasted for a while. Some of them had time for a refreshment break during the ordeal.
The fire rescue teams needed 10 pumps, two aerial ladder platforms, and two water bowsers to get the immense blaze under control. The flames created difficult driving conditions, The Sun reports.
Owing to their fire-fighting gear, the men did not carry money and thus asked a nearby McDonald's for complimentary teas and coffees during the break. However, the staff at the outlet refused the firemen a treat for their hard work. Luckily, a kind customer stepped up to cover for them and bought them a round.
Soon after, a Facebook post, slamming the McDonald staff for its conduct, on a community group went viral and was shared over 10,000 times. Interestingly, quite a few users on social media said the firefighters should have brought money or availed free tap water, while others insisted McDonald's staff should have distributed free drinks on the house for the hardworking rescue workers.
According to the Evening Standard, Steve Brown, one of the firefighters who was at the McDonald’s, wrote on Facebook: “I was one of the firefighters there last night. Thank you to the lady and young man who brought us the teas and coffees, really appreciated.” One of his colleagues Phillip Lee said: “Couldn’t have come at a better time. Many thanks from all the lads.”
A McDonald's spokesman apologized and said: "We value the fantastic work of our emergency services and thank the individuals that dedicate their lives to protecting our local community. On this occasion, we would like to apologize to the firefighters who bravely tackled last night's fire. They should have been provided with free refreshments on the night as a small recognition for their efforts. McDonald's will, of course, be happy to reimburse the members of public involved and we will be in touch directly with our local fire & rescue service."
According to reports, the fire apparently started at 4.30 pm on Saturday and burned all night, causing shops to be evacuated. No casualties or injuries were reported. B&M Stores said: “All of our colleagues are safe and fire and emergency services responded as soon as possible.”