Some employees of a Taco Bell in Nashville are in a whole world of trouble after allegedly setting off fireworks inside the restaurant, causing the building to catch fire while they watched from afar and accidentally locked themselves out.

The incident happened on July 5 at one of the fast-food giant's locations in Music City. It wasn't until July 8 that the investigation took a turn when the restaurant's management called local fire investigators to report that surveillance footage captured their employees playing with fireworks inside the restaurant.

“According to the surveillance footage, the employees can be seen locking the doors to the dining room to keep customers from entering the business,” the fire department said in the statement. “The video then shows the employees running around the inside of the store with fireworks in their hands.”

At one point, the employees are seen going into the men's bathroom and are out of sight of cameras, only to return to the lobby and placing an item into a trash can near the door, according to the Nashville Fire Department.

“Employees are seen using their cell phone cameras to record the trash can from the outside of the restaurant,” the fire department said. “Employees then realized they locked themselves out of the restaurant. The employees tried unsuccessfully to get back into the store. When the employees saw the trash can start to smoke, they called 911 for help.”

Firefighters arrived on the scene a short time later and were able to force their way into the restaurant and put out the flames.

It is estimated that the fire caused more than $30,000 worth of damage to the restaurant.

25-year-old Courtney Mayes, the restaurant's shift leader, was taken into custody on Monday and charged with felony aggravated arson. She is being held on a $5,000 bond at the Davidson County Jail in Nashville.

Nashville Fire Department
Nashville Fire Department

The investigation is ongoing and the Nashville Fire Department says it expects additional arrests "in the coming days."

There is no official word yet from Taco Bell in regards to the employment status of any of the workers involved in the incident.


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