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Fire tears through Ramstein Burger King, guts building

Heavy smoke rises from the Burger King at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Sunday, April 16, 2017. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

JENNIFER H. SVAN/STARS AND STRIPES

By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 16, 2017

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany – A fire that burned for hours consumed the Burger King here Sunday afternoon, giving base firefighters all they could handle on Easter.

The fire was reported shortly after 2 p.m., base officials said.

No customers or employees were injured, but a firefighter sustained a minor injury, said Lt. Col. Joel Harper, a base spokesman.

The cause of the fire is under investigation

A bystander, who said he had eaten breakfast at Burger King Sunday morning, said smoke could be seen rising from the building at about 2:15 p.m., as firefighters were beginning to assemble on scene. The fire was reported at 2:08 p.m. to security forces and the fire department.

Several hours later, heavy smoke engulfed the building and flames could still be seen burning among the charred, caved-in roof. Dark smoke coming from the base could be seen from miles away.

Both Air Force and German firefighters from the 86th Civil Engineering Group battled the blaze with ladder-mounted hoses from above. They contained the fire by early Sunday evening.

The Kaiserslautern Military Community Center, which sits across the parking lot from Burger King, was evacuated and closed, out of “an abundance of caution and due to the smoke,” Harper said.

The center resumed normal operations Sunday night.

Burger King had been slated for demolition, Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials said last year. A new dual Burger King and Arby’s with a drive-thru was to take its place, at the opposite end of the KMCC parking lot, AAFES officials said a year ago. At the time, they did not give a timeline for the project.

In 2004, a fire also destroyed a Burger King at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

svan.jennifer@stripes.com

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Firefighters worked to put out a fire Sunday afternoon, April 16, 2017, at the Burger King on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Heavy smoke and flames could be seen from the charred building throughout the afternoon. The nearby Kaiserslautern Military Community Center complex was evacuated. Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes
JENNIFER H. SVAN/STARS AND STRIPES

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