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A Burger King restaurant burst into flames in York in a fire that initially 'smelled like burgers'.
Firefighters rushed to the scene at around 2.40pm today after reports of smoke coming out of the building's ceiling.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed that the blaze is in the roof of the property and crews are battling the flames with hoses and an aerial ladder.
There have been reports that the fire was caused by an extractor fan, according to YorkshireLive.
The roof of the restaurant was 'destroyed' in the blaze, which sent clouds of black smoke billowing across the city.
Workers at the fast-food restaurant were escorted to safety, with some panicked staff so stressed they had to go home, it is claimed.
Firefighters rushed to the scene to battle the flames
(Image: MEN MEDIA)
Georgia Wright, who was shopping across the road at B&Q, told YorkshireLive that she noticed smoke coming out of the building at around 3pm.
She said: "We saw smoke coming out and thought 'that is definitely not burgers'."
She said she drove around and parked up by the restaurant.
Members of staff came out of the Burger King and stood by the Tesco superstore.
One witness said she picked up a burger smell at the scene
(Image: MEN MEDIA)
She said that they were "in shock" and that one member of staff told her that the fire was caused by a fault with the extractor fan.
She said that flames started coming out of the roof and the gutter.
"At first it smelled like burgers," she said.
"There were seven fire engines pumping water from the pipes and from the lake.
The blaze is believed to have been caused by an extractor fan fault
(Image: MEN MEDIA)
"When it started to get worse they (the emergency services) asked us to move away and all the employees went to the police."
Sam Dixon-French, who is on holiday in the area, said there were lots of emergency service vehicles in the area.
He added that "billowing black smoke" was pouring from the building's roof, the BBC reports.
Mr Dixon-French said: "The road is closed and people are being urged to stay away."
Black smoke from the blaze is billowing across York
A spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "Our control room received a call 14:41 to reports of smoke in the ceiling of a commercial property on Stirling Road in York.
"We’ve got a number of crews in attendance, including an aerial ladder platform. The water bowser from Tadcaster has also been requested to attend.
"The fire is in the roof of the building and crews are using main jets to tackle the fire. The aerial ladder platform is also in use.
"Crews are likely to be at the scene for some time."
A Burger King spokesman added: "We are aware of the incident at our York Clifton Moor Retail Park restaurant and a full investigation is underway into the cause of the fire.
"We can confirm there are no casualties and all employees and visitors have been evacuated safely. We want to thank the local fire brigade for their swift action."
North Yorkshire Police tweeted: "We are currently assisting @NorthYorksFire following a fire at a commercial property at Clifton Moor Retail Park #York we have put restrictions in place to keep everyone safe and ask that you avoid the area if possible."